Over time and throughout many seasons, much at Midland (Mich.) Northeast Little League fields have changed, however, one thing that hasn’t is Ed Wilson.
Becoming a volunteer in 1964, Mr. Wilson has served several roles in his 50 years of service. Whether he is coaching, serving on the league’s Board of Directors, or maintaining fields, Wilson constantly strives to make Midland Northeast Little League an environment for kids to learn and grow. Mr. Wilson’s service and dedication make him the perfect recipient for the 2014 Little League Volunteer of the Year Award.
A retired chemical engineer and father of two, Wilson started volunteering when he came to Midland after college. A co-worker of Wilson’s was a minor league manager, and eager to begin his volunteer efforts, Wilson offered to help coach. After two years of coaching, Wilson was able to become manager of that team, eventually managing a Little League Baseball division team.
“I’ve been with the same age group, major league 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. But at any age, baseball is a good sport.”
Mr. Wilson always has the player’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.
“After 50 years, Ed is an active coach and contributor to the league’s organization and field maintenance,” said Matthew Hansen, Midland Northeast Little League President, in his nomination letter. “He will throw batting practice longer than most parents half his age, he created the league practice and game schedules, and he always paints the outfield lines. 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 when I found out about the award,” said Mr. Wilson. “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 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.
If you know of a deserving Little League volunteer, the 2015 Little League Volunteer of the Year Award application will be available in early 2015 at LittleLeague.org.