By Travis Mounts, TSnews
GARDEN PLAIN – Members of the Becker and Heimerman families, all relatives of Jerome Becker, were honored this weekend at the National Baseball Congress World Series in Hutchinson.
They were presented the Terry Brewster Award, presented by Spirit Aerosystems, Inc., on Saturday at Hobart-Detter Field.
The families help organize and run the youth recreational baseball and softball teams in Garden Plain, which compete in the Twin Rivers Youth League against other towns in western Sedgwick County. Games are played at Beck Field, the church owned lot on Main Street.
Lori Becker said her father-in-law, Jerome Becker, started what has become a family effort through three generations.
“He has been part of the Garden Plain ballpark and youth league for 50-plus years,” she said.
Lori is married to Russ Becker, Jerome’s son.
“We’ve helped with the ballpark for 30-plus years,” she said.
Russ Becker has coached teams, taken care of field maintenance, and been an umpire.
Jerome’s daughter Denise Heimerman and her husband, Chris, have been involved for more than 35 years. Denise has handled scheduling and team shirts, while Chris has been an umpire and helped with field maintenance.
And daughter Jaime Kitzmann has organized concessions, taken care of scheduling and supplies, and communications.
But Jerome is the “kingpin,” Lori said.
The next generation has gotten involved. Russ’ and Lori’s daughter and son, Sydney and Derek Becker, and Chris’ and Denise’s son and daughter, Chad and Kara Heimerman, are involved as well.
The entire family was honored by the recognition, Lori Becker said.
“It was very touching and heartfelt,” she said.
The nomination came from Jessica Scheer.
“In our small community, these families essentially run our youth recreational softball and baseball programs,” Scheer wrote. “Yes, others help, but the extent and degree to which these families have volunteered their time is incredible! Neither family has any children playing ball yet they are on the board, lead the concession stand organization, organize the field clean-up and maintenance, and oversee the communication to community, coaches, and players. Most impressively, these families nearly umpire every baseball and softball game played in GP! Their kids have even started helping out.”
Scheer noted that it is common to see a fatherand son, uncle and newphew, or cousins umpiring together.