I am honored to accept the gavel as the new Chairman of the Babe Ruth League Alumni Association. First, let me thank James Wagoner for his extraordinary efforts as Chairman. I would also like to congratulate James on his appointment as Chief Executive Officer.
Through James’ leadership, and with the support of the governance and committees, we have seen a transformation of the Babe Ruth League Alumni Association, concentrating on growth and strategic initiatives.
I want to share a bit about my background. I started in the Babe Ruth program in 1994 serving as a manager for the Evansville, Indiana Babe Ruth League. Over the next few years I continued to serve at the local league level as a manager and League President. In 1998, I was elected State Commissioner for the Southern Indiana Babe Ruth Leagues, a position I held until being elected Ohio Valley Regional Commissioner and a member of the Babe Ruth League International Board of Directors in 2005. One of my proudest moments was being named the Lefty Gomez Volunteer of the Year in 2004.
Professionally, I worked for International Tours in Terre Haute as a Marketing Director from 1987 until 1988. Currently, I am employed as the General Manager for Wolfe’s Auto Auctions in Evansville, a position I have had since 1988. In addition, I was honorably discharged after 8 years of service in the United States Army at the rank of Staff Sergeant.
I am proud to admit that my life has revolved around the Babe Ruth League program. Moving forward, I want to focus on the Alumni Association’s efforts on improving the effectiveness of our outreach to all alumni, as well as helping advance the general welfare of Babe Ruth League, Inc. As such, I recently stepped down from the Babe Ruth League Board of Directors to concentrate on increasing the overall growth and engagement of the Alumni Association, especially with our goal to help youth reach their full potential and grow into happy, healthy and productive adults.
At the same time, I am humbled to know that I, along with the Alumni Board and committee members, will represent all those who currently participate or have participated in the Babe Ruth League program. During my tenure, I would like to ask all those who are currently involved, or who are no longer a part of the Babe Ruth program, to do one thing: Join the Alumni Association to see, hear and feel the atmosphere of your alma mater. As a member of the Alumni Association, you will enter into a new phase that will extend far beyond the years you spend as a player and/or a volunteer. We encourage you to take full advantage of the great social and cultural exchange that fellow Alumni can provide. Make new friends. Re-connect and network with former friends, teammates, coaches and other alumni.
I call upon all of you to become ambassadors of Babe Ruth League, tell your story, contribute and bring in new members to the Babe Ruth family.
I am honored to be a part of helping make dreams come true for our participants, and I urge you to consider your own participation. Our Alumni Association is only as strong as the sum of its parts. We are all “Babe Ruth Leaguers”. Millions of kids and volunteers have participated in the program. That’s an impressive number when we work together. You have a dedicated Board of Directors and committee members, poised to serve your interests. Let us know what you see, hear and feel about Babe Ruth League, and we’ll d our best to represent you.
Together we can make a difference!
Mark Watkins, Chairman
Babe Ruth League Alumni Board of Directors