Waycross-Ware County Sports Hall of Fame

Cecil Tanner
Inducted 2024

Cecil Tanner was a two-sport athlete who loved playing the sports his two heroes played. His dad (Berry) and grandaddy (Cecil) loved to play basketball and baseball. Although Cecil loved all sports, baseball seemed to be the one in which he excelled at a young age.. A hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher like his heroes, he quickly gained the attention of local coaches, teammates, and opposing players as a threat anytime he took the mound.

In the year 2000, he was selected to the Ware County All-Star Baseball team that won the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association Class B State Championship. The team didn’t return to the State Championship game until 2002, where Cecil and his teammates again won the GRPA Class B State Championship; he was the championship game-winning pitcher. Although the team lost the year following their championship year, they returned in 2004 and won their final GRPA Class B State Championship title. Again, Cecil was the winning pitcher during the championship game. At a relatively young age, Cecil and his teammates had already surpassed many of the prior teams’ accomplishments through hard work and dedication. Three state championships in five years was an amazing accomplishment for those players.

In 2007 and 2008, Cecil was a starter on the Ware County basketball team. In 2007, the team made it to the State Sweet Sixteen and finished with an 18-10 record. In 2008, the team finished in the State top 32.

Cecil started his high school varsity baseball career in 2006 as a starting pitcher for the Gators and played until 2008 for legendary baseball coach James Conoly. In 2007, Cecil began to get noticed by groups outside of Waycross for his pitching talent and was invited by the Milwaukee Brewers to Lakeland, Florida to their East Coast Pro Showcase. In 2008, his senior year, he was named to Rawlings National Preseason All American – First Team, Baseball America – 27th nationally ranked Professional Prospect, and Sports Illustrated/Takkle 36th Nationally ranked high school player.

Cecil was a 2008 Ware County High School honor graduate, member of the National Honor Society, and member of the Future Business Leaders of America. In the summer of 2008, he was chosen to represent the United States as a member of the USA Baseball 18U National team as a pitcher. The team won a silver medal at the IBAF Triple A World Championships in Edmonton, Canada. Cecil was also drafted that year in the MLB Amateur Draft by the Atlanta Braves in the 36th round, making him the first player ever drafted straight out of Ware County High School. Even though it was his boyhood dream to play professional baseball, he opted out to play for the Georgia Bulldogs baseball team.

Cecil pitched for the Georgia Bulldogs from 2009-2011. In 2009 he was selected as an All-SEC Freshman first team. In 2010-2011, he was on the Georgia Athletic Department Honor Roll. During the off-season in 2009-2010, he was selected to play in the Cape Cod Baseball League, where he pitched for the Falmouth Commodores.

In 2011, the Oakland Athletics drafted him in the 23rd round, which he accepted. In 2012, he was awarded the A’s Minor League Most Improved Pitcher award and was advanced to A level. After three seasons, he signed as a free agent with the San Diego Padres Minor League and was advanced to High “A “level. Cecil finished his active baseball career with the Miami Marlins Minor League High “A” in 2017. He then worked from 2017 to 2020 at the Georgia Baseball Academy as a professional baseball instructor and lead Sales Representative.

One of Cecil Tanner’s best memories and proudest moments was making the Team USA final roster and representing our country. “Hearing the National Anthem played abroad, wearing our Red, White, and Blue, and competing on the biggest stage gives me chills still today. It’s also special to me because my Dad was on Team USA after high school as well,” remarked Cecil.

Cecil is married to Jasmyn Wilkins Tanner. He is the son of Berry and Madelyn Tanner and son-in-law to Vita Wilkins. He has two sisters, Emilie King (husband Caleb) and McKenzie Tanner. His grandparents are Cecil (deceased) and Naida Tanner and Rose Seaone (deceased).

Congratulations and welcome to the Waycross-Ware County Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2024.