Sunny skies and mild temperatures made for a perfect day last month when the Gillespie High School baseball team hosted Southwestern and Calhoun for a doubleheader on Saturday, April 28. The team also held a “Donor Day” and a “Coach Sam Stewart Remembrance Ceremony” at Lionel Fite Field at Gillespie.
Gillespie picked up a pair of wins against Southwestern, 3-1, and Calhoun, 6-1.
In between the two games, past players, volunteers and members of the community were honored with a ceremony and plaque dedication for generously donating to the Gillespie Miners Baseball Program. Because of their generosity, almost $20,000 in donations have been raised for field improvements to the high school baseball field. Just a few of the improvements include a new windscreen for the outfield, newly padded backstop with design, windscreens in front of the dugouts, orange fence capping, field conditioner and field leveling.
In a remembrance ceremony for Coach Sam Stewart, his number 9 was officially retired. Coach Stewart was head baseball coach for Gillespie High School from 1976-2003 and during those 27 years, he coached hundreds of players, many of whom were recognized as donors of the baseball program during the plaque dedication.
His number has been retired and the new, outfield windscreen is dedicated in his honor. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne and brother, Donnie (Charlene) Stewart, his two nieces, Kelly Lyons and Jackie (Ted) Knetzer and their children, Aidan Lyons and Brody & Max Knetzer.