2018 All Ages Opening Day Founders TributeUpdated Thursday May 10, 2018 by Carolyn O'Leary.
Five years ago this weekend, Little League made its return to Grove City. Jimmie Harris, along with Gary Haughn, Ron Gabriel, Jay Pozz, Larry Thomas and Jack Widner played a big role in making that day happen. While having Little League back in this community took time and patience, there was a bigger dream in the eyes of these men. It was to create a special place where children and adults of all ages that faced varying challenges in their lives could enjoy a simple game in a nurturing environment. This dream was brought to life and is now known as “Buddy Ball Nation”. As we start our third year of this blessed community offering, it becomes very easy to see why Jimmie, Gary, Ron, Jay, Larry and Jack were so driven and focused to spread the word among civic leaders and local business owners back in 2014, when the seed was planted for the Dream Field. They had the vision of how buddies would develop bonds with the players they support at the plate and in the field, they knew that seeing a smile on a young boy or girl’s face after they hit the ball and got to first base would brighten everyone’s day and they believed that this supportive community would come out and watch the best baseball in Grove City.
Last year, the Buddy Ball family lost one of its founders, Jimmie Harris. Opening Day is special for any league but even more so this year as we are fortunate to have his daughters, Jana and Jerrie, here to throw out ceremonial first pitches in honor of their dad.
Thank you from everyone involved with Grove City Buddy Ball!