If you were talking about sports news and you needed to know the latest, you could talk to Kermit Hawley. Whether it be a sporting event of the McPherson High School Bullpups, the current league standings for major league baseball or details from last night’s Wichita State men’s basketball game, you could get the scoop from Kermit.
Very few sports fans can match Kermit Hawley’s knowledge of sports action in Kansas and beyond. Add to that Kermit’s involvement and knowledge of Kansas Babe Ruth Baseball for the past 48 years.
Kermit’s involvement with Babe Ruth Baseball began in his home town of McPherson in 1964. After having served his community as business manager for a local McPherson adult baseball team, The Merchants, Kermit got his chance to manage one of the local Babe Ruth teams. When a field manager was needed for The Merchants, Kermit recruited the manager of the local Elks Babe Ruth team to assume those duties, thus leaving open the manager position for the Elks. So here was Kermit’s opening to manage in the local McPherson Babe Ruth League. Coaching the local youth in the McPherson Babe Ruth Baseball league was what Kermit always wanted to do. And so for 18 seasons, Kermit was involved as a coach in the local program. Over those years, McPherson was known as one of the strongest and most stable local leagues in the Kansas Babe Ruth program. Kermit also had the opportunity to coach several all-star teams, winning the state 13-15 tournament in 1971, finishing the season number four in the regional tournament.
Coaching duties were not the only responsibilities carried by Hawley in McPherson. Kermit worked within the local league as secretary/treasurer for several years and remained on the McPherson league board until 2004 to help run and keep the program strong.
In late 1971, Kermit was appointed to the secretary/treasurer position on the Kansas State Babe Ruth Board of Directors replacing long-time friend and founder of the Kansas program, George Fellers. When Fellers returned a year later to the board, Hawley relinquished the position and took the opportunity to be the Kansas District Director (District Commissioner) for his district. Two years later, Kermit returned to the position of secretary on the state board. He remained in that position until he passed away on December 15, 2013.
During the past 40 years, Kermit has seen many changes in the local and state programs. As he served these many years on the Board of Directors, the state program has added several age group divisions, provided tournament trails for eleven age divisions, incorporated many new ideas, and continued to provide a hight quality baseball program for Kansas youth.
Kermit, a native of McPherson, worked 42 years at the McPherson post office, first as a carrier and then later as a stamp window clerk. Kermit has three daughters; Kathy, Christine, and Sandy, and one son, Don. Kermit and his wife, Susan, owned and operated Nooks and Crannies Gifts and Floral in McPherson. After Kermit passed away, Susan continued the business which started 17 years ago.
A baseball fan at heart, Kermit knew his baseball. Whether it was playing baseball in his youth, coaching in the local league, or serving on the local and state board, you can be assured that Kermit knew the score, the standings, the players, and most of all he knew what each player involved needed to be successful.
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 interest 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 men and women for their service in the Kansas Babe Ruth Leagues, the Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame now includes the name of Kermit Hawley.