Monument unveiled to Mr. Mineola Baseball

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George Melvin embodied youth baseball in Mineola.

Those years of dedication and sacrifice were honored Saturday morning when Field Three at the Mineola Youth Foundation ballpark was dedicated in Melvin’s memory.

The foundation’s board unveiled a plaque designating George Melvin Memorial Field as Melvin’s family members looked on.

Melvin passed away Aug. 27, 2018 at age 72.

His grandson, Thomas Melvin, threw the first pitch on the newly-named ballfield, as his dad and coach, Scott Melvin, caught.

The plan was for Thomas and Scott’s team to play the first game on the field, but Mother Nature did not cooperate, flooding the facility and canceling plans to host a tournament.

Brenda Melvin, George’s widow, said their three children were raised at the ballpark. George’s theory, she said, was that if children are kept busy they stay out of trouble. “We had very little home life,” she quipped.

George would be so excited to have this honor, she said.

“In my childhood, George Melvin was the man who ran the baseball park,” said current foundation president Robert Hamlin.

Hamlin said Melvin coached him, coached against him, umpired with him, and helped in anyway he could.

“It’s a great honor for me to present this,” Hamlin said.

Jayne Lankford said, “George Melvin was this ballpark.”

He was instrumental in adding several of the fields and started a local umpires association – the only one in this area, she said.

“He presided over 500 kids every summer,” she said. “How he did that I’ll never know.”

He dealt with parents, the concession stand, umpires (and also coached – sometimes two teams); it ran like a well-oiled machine,” she said. “May it flourish forever.”

Mitchell Tuck added that for George, it was an honor to give to the kids, and somewhere he is smiling.

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