Throughout the seasons, much at Little League® fields change, but for Ed Wilson, what keeps him volunteering in Midland Northeast Little League (MNLL) in Michigan is the realization that through his efforts he is helping others. Mr. Wilson’s service and dedication to his league are what make him worthy of the 2014 Little League Volunteer of the Year Award.
Joining MNLL in 1964, Mr. Wilson has served the local league for 50 years. Whether he is coaching, serving on the league’s Board of Directors or maintaining the playing fields, Mr. Wilson is constantly striving to support an environment where children can learn and grow.
A retired chemical engineer and father of two, Mr. Wilson started volunteering when he came to Midland after graduating from college. A co-worker of Mr. Wilson’s was the manager of a minor division baseball team. Eager to volunteer, Mr. Wilson offered to help coach. After two years of coaching, Mr. Wilson became the team’s manager and eventually managed in the Major baseball division.
“I’ve been with the same age group (Major baseball division) for a long time,” said Mr. Wilson. “I think it’s the perfect age. There’s a lot of talent and they’re pretty good boys … at any age baseball is a good sport.”
Mr. Wilson always has the child’s best interest in mind, trying to teach them the fundamentals of baseball along with valuable life lessons that they will be able to carry with them for the rest of their lives.
“Even after 50 years, Ed is an active coach and contributor to the league organization and field maintenance,” said Matthew Hansen, President of Midland Northeast Little League in his nomination letter. “He will throw batting practice longer than most parents half his age, he creates the league practice and game schedules, and he always paints the outfield lines as well as countless other tasks around the fields. Whenever there is a decision to be made, it is obvious that Ed’s vote is always in favor of doing what is best for the kids.”
“I was shocked,” Mr. Wilson said when responding to being selected as Little League’s Volunteer of the Year. “I did not expect that. It was a very important moment in my life.”
The Little League Volunteer of the Year Award was created in 1989 with the purpose of recognizing the countless hours of volunteer service millions of volunteers put in to assure that their Little League is run to its fullest potential.
“Each year millions of volunteers come together to make Little League Baseball and Softball the best youth sports organization in the world,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Mr. Wilson not only possesses all of the characteristics that Little League stands for, courage, loyalty and character, but instills them to his players as well. It is an honor to recognize Mr. Wilson with the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award.”
Mr. Wilson will be recognized at a breakfast and during an on-field ceremony at the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. The 68th World Series will be played Aug. 14-24. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday, August 24 at 3 p.m.
© 2014 Little League International. All rights reserved.
Little League® Notebook | July/August 2014 | Archive