Bob has been involved with Kansas Babe Ruth Baseball Leagues since 1963. His participation began that year as a player on the Wellington V.F.W. Cubs Babe Ruth team. During the summers of 1983-1991, Bob’s involvement was coaching in the Wellington Babe Ruth League. He was selected as a Wellington All-Star coach in 1989 and 1990.
After his coaching days were over, Bob served the Wellington Babe Ruth League in many capacities. He served on the Wellington Babe Ruth League Board as secretary/treasurer for seven years (1985-1991). He was also a Kansas District III Assistant Commissioner for three years. In 1990, Bob was selected to fill the District Commissioner position. Bob held that position until 2009, when he was elected State Commissioner.
Bob’s philosophy of teaching solid baseball fundamentals and having fun playing the game, has enabled his district to grow in numbers over the past 16 years. In 1989, his district consisted of 55 teams in seven leagues. His district included 98 teams in eleven leagues during the 2005 season. As Bob would say, “First of all, involve all players. Recognize that not all players have the same skills, but they can all play together on a team and help each other reach individual and team goals.” Bob’s philosophy of making everyone feel important and a vital necessary part of the overall picture also works well when dealing with the various league officers in his district. “If they (league leaders) know that their ideas and hard work are appreciated, they become more involved and their programs grow.”
During Bob’s tenure as district commissioner he was instrumental in bringing many state and regional tournaments to District Three. In 2004, Bob served on the task force for the Midwest Plains Regional for 16 year-olds held in Wellington. He also was a vital part in starting a tournament trail for nine and eleven year-olds in the Cal Ripken division. The first-ever Kansas state tournaments in both ages were held in Wellington as well as the first-ever eleven year-old Midwest Plains Regional in 2003.
Bob’s success can also be attributed to great communication and organization skills. He communicates often with the league officers from leagues in his district. He wants these officers to be good friends and he strives to give recognition to each one for their many hours of volunteer work.
As Kansas District III Commissioner, Bob also serves on the Kansas Babe Ruth League Board of Directors and was elected State Commissioner in 2009. One of Bob’s responsibilities as a board member is that of webmaster for the kansasbaberuthleagues.com website. The site is well-known around the U.S. as a very comprehensive, accurate, user-friendly and up-to-date site. Bob works tirelessly, especially during tournament weeks, at maintaining this valuable asset for Kansas Babe Ruth Leagues. If one needs information about a wide assortment of things concerning Babe Ruth Baseball, specifically Kansas Babe Ruth Leagues, then go to the Kansas Babe Ruth League’s website. It is the place to obtain information.
Bob and his wife, Sherry, reside in Wellington where Bob serves the community as a dentist. Sherry is an elementary school educator. They have five children, seventeen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Bob’s community involvement includes treasurer of his church congregation and being a member of the Wellington Crusader Club. Bob is also a U.S. Air Force veteran, having served from 1968-1971. Their children are Jason Willis (Georgia) and their children Jordan who has four children (twins Jaden and Haley, Lochlan and Maxton),Terra, Jenny and her daughter Mckynlea, Doug and Emily;: Wendy Brunton (Jared); Greg Willis who has twin daughters, Kyle and Drew; Wes Misak (Amanda) and their children Kaden, Maddox and Matrix; and Jeff Willis (Lupe) and their children Jordan, Katlyn and Laken.
The Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame is reserved for individuals who display great personal strength, honesty, integrity, tireless devotion, enthusiasm, a love for the game, and put the interests of others first. For these reasons it is with great pride and pleasure that Kansas Babe Ruth Leagues awards the coveted Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame Award to one of its own. Honoring mem and women for their service in the Kansas Babe Ruth Leagues, the Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame now includes the name of Bob Willis.