When it comes to baseball, Verne Moore had an intense interest. Verne knew baseball! Whether it be rules for baseball, Babe Ruth League, college baseball, or professional baseball, Verne could fill you in. You might say, “Mr. Baseball” when referring to Verne.
Involvement with Babe Ruth League baseball in Kansas began in McPherson in the early 1970’s. His son Lynn and teammates were Kansas state champions in 1971 and advanced to the Midwest Plains regional in Minnesota. Verne followed the team as it advanced. This event, you could say, was the spark that got Verne ignited and fully engaged in Babe Ruth Baseball.
Over the course of six years (1972-’77), Verne co-managed a McPherson 13-15 year old team. He and his good friend Jerry Gasper worked together as coaches, sharing in manager duties during this time. Verne managed the 1977 McPherson all-star team that advanced to a regional in Minnesota. His team earned a third place finish.
McPherson hosted several district and state tournaments during Verne’s years. He was always an integral part of all of them. Any tournament decision such as wet fields or adjusting game times were always headquartered at Verne’s Farmer’s Alliance Insurance office. It was the hub for important baseball discussions.
Verne married Pat Hopkins in 1954. They had two sons, Lynn and Steven and one daughter, Karen. Verne was a great salesman so it was only appropriate that he become involved in insurance. Verne worked many years for Farmer’s Alliance Insurance, beginning in 1962. When Verne moved to McPherson where the company had a regional office, he accepted the position of vice president of sales. Verne also worked for Farmers Mutual Insurance in Gentry, Oklahoma finishing with 34 years of involvement with insurance.
Before Lynn’s successful years in Babe Ruth, Verne coached Steve. He started coaching his very first year in McPherson and helped Steve develop into a top-notch first baseman. Daughter Karen was the family’s biggest fan and booster, and was a good athlete in her own right. His wife Pat was a worker behind the scenes as she supported the local league leaders in many ways. One area of real support was the typing of Kermit Hawley’s meeting minutes. This saved a lot of “White-out” and frustrating re-dos. Verne’s entire household were big boosters of the Babe Ruth program that Verne loved so much.
Verne’s desire for quality youth baseball programs is evident in the many areas of the Babe Ruth program that Verne became involved. When his coaching years ended, Verne served five years (1978-’82) as Kansas District Six Commissioner. Then after meeting John Villar, Kansas State Commissioner, at his son’s regional in 1971, the two men became close friends. Verne was a big help for John as John served as state commissioner.
So it was only appropriate that John would ask Verne to become the Kansas Developmental Commissioner. Verne served in that capacity from 1983-’86. Verne was well-known for his interest in small communities throughout the state as he worked to develop interest in youth baseball, specifically Babe Ruth League Baseball.
After John Villar resigned as state commissioner in 1987, Verne was elected to a two-year term as Kansas State Commissioner. During his tenure as commissioner, Verne accepted a position with a different insurance company and moved to Arkansas. He resigned his state position in the fall of 1989.
To finish out Verne’s 16 years of involvement in Babe Ruth Baseball, he served as assistant Midwest Plains Commissioner for ages 13-15. He worked in the regional position from 1989 until his health required him to step aside.
Those who knew Verne enjoyed his “dry sense” of humor and his quick wit. Verne always had time to visit and to make one feel comfortable in any situation. He was a people-person, this his involvement with players, coaches, parents, and leaders in the state organization was extraordinary. He was highly respected throughout the state of Kansas. Family and friends of Verne can take great satisfaction in Verne’s 25+ years of quality service to the youth in McPherson, the state of Kansas, and throughout the Midwest Plains Region.
Verne and wife Pat moved back to McPherson in 2006. Verne passed away in April of 2009. Pat continues to reside in McPherson.
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 Kansas Babe Ruth Leagues, the Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame now includes the name of Verne Moore.
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