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Memphis Baseball names office building American Legion Baseball pioneer, dedication set for April 12

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Babe Howard flyer

The legacy of W.S. ‘Babe’ Howard lives on in many ways around Millington and the Mid-South.
But the late Millington entrepreneur’s greatest impact might be left in the people he influenced over the years. Recently, Howard’s daughter Laura Rosas had a former University of Memphis Baseball players share a story with her.
He told her, Mr. Babe’s supporting American Legion Baseball in the late 1970 and early 80s gave him a chance to play the game and reach the college level.
Tiger Baseball has many similar stories and the school’s administration and coaching staff will honor the memory of Babe Howard April 12 with a dedication ceremony to name the new Baseball Office Building after him.
“I think it’s very appropriate,” Rosas said. “The Millington Telephone Company sponsored an American Legion Baseball team for 20 years. Everyone said Dad loved baseball. I tell them, ‘Not really, it wasn’t about baseball. It was about giving the guys something to do. Also giving them the ability to get college scholarships and giving them that opportunity.’”
The Howard family will be on hand Saturday for the dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. and game between the Tigers and UCF Knights scheduled to start an hour later.
Rosas said it would mean a lot to the Howard family to see former American Legion players who went on to play for the Tigers at the event.
The 1987 graduate of Memphis State University said all those players validated her father’s investment into baseball at USA Stadium.
Rosas noted Memphis Head Coach Daron Schoenrock’s effort along with Bill Lansden and Ryan Alpert made the building naming possible.
“Coach Rock is great and he’s enthusiastic about this and honoring my Dad,” she said. “He wants to let people know how important he was to baseball in this area. He feels pretty strongly about that.”
With several legends and dignified honorees name’s adorning buildings on the U of M campus, Rosas said her father being the latest recognizing his true purpose behind supporting amateur baseball for all those years.
“It’s carrying on the tradition and honoring him,” she concluded. “But it’s also honoring the guys who came through Millington Telephone Company played for the American Legion team and who later went on to Memphis State. It’s honoring them and it’s continuing that tradition. That’s what it’s all about, those kids moving on and continuing their education and getting those opportunities.”

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April 2014
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