Sunday, August 4, 2019

Player Spotlight - Daniel Vinson

When you think of legendary athletes born here in Texas there are a few names that may come to mind. Babe Didrikson Zaharias...wait...who? Sorry, I saw a documentary on her one time and she had some legendary accomplishments including winning two gold medals in the 1932 Olympics. She then went on to win 31 Professional Golf titles. Very impressive! Ok I'll mention some a little more obvious like Nolan Ryan and Earl Campbell. Ryan threw 7 no hitters and amassed 5,714 strikeouts in 27 seasons. That in and of itself is amazing! Campbell affectionately known as "The Tyler Rose" won the Heisman Trophy in 1977 while wearing the Burnt Orange for the University of Texas. Campbell  then went on to lead the NFL in rushing 3 times with the Houston Oilers and twice was named the NFL MVP.

If you have played cornhole the past few years with The Texas Cornhole League, you undoubtedly are aware of the legendary Daniel Vinson. Daniel has quite the impressive resume with TCL winning a State Title in Singles, Doubles and being the Player of the Year. Only one other player has matched that feat in the Open Division and that is Brandon Gregor, a TCL Legend as well. Vinson started his cornhole career at a tournament at O'Sheas and basically hit the floor running. In his very first time to play, O'Sheas had a bonus for making a Big Tex and maybe that bucket of beers was just the motivation Vinson needed! Daniel indeed won a bucket or two and the rest is history as he has been draining 12's ever since.

Before Vinson took up cornhole, he was an accomplished Horseshoe player being ranked as high as 3rd in the state. Daniel pitched shoes for about 15-20 years before changing his arsenal to bags. The 44 year old Kaufman resident has been playing for about 7 years and says one of his favorite memories was playing in his first Ryder Cup. Vinson who was a fairly new player at this time, hit a huge Big Tex to win a critical game to help his team grab second place behind a tough Roanoke squad. The first Ryder Cup that I attended Daniel was on the East Dallas team that won that event and would also add another Cup win this past January.

One of the things that Daniel said he had to overcome early on was his ability to throw airmails with confidence. In watching Vinson the past few years I've noticed he is very methodical in his approach and strategy. He will rarely rush a meaningful shot as he puts a lot of thought and analysis into his process. A calm looking player during the game Daniel doesn't often show emotion but don't let that fool you. He is super competitive and will throw out an occasional fist pump.

Like many of us, Daniel enjoys the camaraderie and hanging with friends during and away from events. He is a fun loving guy that is well liked and respected by his peers. I've seen him helping new players many times including myself when I was a new player. That's just how he is and TCL is very fortunate to have him around.

Best of luck to you Daniel as you continue to etch your name in the TCL history books as a true legend.