Every community needs a leader. And every leader has followers or members of a group that requires direction and quality mentorship. Leadership is defined as the act of guiding and the providing of management. So, it’s no surprise that the community in and around Columbus, Kansas can boast of one of those quality leaders. They have Doug Spear.
Commitment and dedication to a cause has been Doug’s forte. Doug has been very active in the Columbus Babe Ruth Baseball organization since 1994. He served for four years as the Bambino/Cal Ripken League president and has been the 16-18 division league president since 1999. He is currently in his 17th year as Assistant District Commissioner for Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth in Kansas District Five. With encouragement and strong support, Doug enables volunteers in District Five to be at their best. Doug also has the ability to get volunteers to duplicate his love of the game.
Or the years, Doug has coached in all age groups and managed several league all-star teams in post season play. Of course, he had the privilege of coaching his sons through their many years playing in thg Babe Ruth program.
What is meaningful to Doug is the opportunity to teach and lead the youth in and around competition. A highlight for Doug is helping young ball players develop quality baseball skills and grow to become outstanding persons of character. “I loved coaching league teams and taking our all-star teams through rigorous practices, preparing them for and participating in district and state play”, stated Doug. When Doug’s teams participated in league play and tournaments, they played with passion, showed outstanding sportsmanship, and were teams that played hard to the very end; win or lose. It was more important to Doug and his teams to earn the sportsmanship award, “and play like gentlemen”, than to be the game’s winning team. “Youth sports helps build leaders of our future and provides important interaction, coaching (mentorship), and much needed encouragement.” Each participant is important to Doug. “Organized league play is all that some kids get to play. So we can never lose sight of how important what we do with them is. Not all kids make all-stars or play travel ball. These are the kids who need our help and direction the most.”
Doug had a variety of experiences growing up. He played his Jr. Babe Ruth baseball in Ohio. It was during that time that Doug began to develop his love of the game and his appreciation for Babe Ruth League. He brought that love of the game with him when his family moved to Southeast Kansas. Doug currently lives with his wife, Vicki, in Columbus. They have four grown children; Chris, Cory, Karlee, and Destiny. They have also been blessed with seven grandchildren. Doug loves being with his grandkids, attending sporting events, and deer and duck hunting. He is currently employed as the Director of Quality Assurance for Crossland Construction.
Many hours of Doug’s day during the spring, summer, and fall are spent taking care of the ball fields in Columbus. He does this to enable the local youth baseball and softball programs to be at their best. He also maintains these fields for the highs school spring ball programs. Doug is currently the president of the Columbus Community Field Board which, not only maintains the fields, but schedules practices and games, putting in rules and safety precautions. Without Doug’s watchful eye these fields would not be used to their fullest capacity.
There’s no doubt that Doug Spear loves baseball. Anyone that knows him knows that is true. But I’m not sure everyone knows the time and effort Doug puts into making sure the kids in his community have a great place to play and a great time. As Doug says, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
State Assistant Commissioner Dennis Nevin emphasized this fact when he said, “I believe that Doug has a strong desire to make youth baseball in district five the best program in Kansas. There are so many times that Doug has been there for Columbus and Babe Ruth Baseball. The word that best describes Doug is dedication!”
The Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame is reserved for individuals, like Doug, 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 the coveted Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame Award goes to Doug Spear. Honoring men and women for their service in the Kansas Bae Ruth Leagues, the Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame now includes the name, Doug Spear.
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