Opening Day at Kimball Township Little League was extra special this spring as teams honored Hammar's Contracting for 51 years of sponsorship.
Before players took the fields Saturday afternoon, they gathered to hear an Opening Day speech from Bob Hammar as he shared about the history of their Little League organization – something he’s been a part of since 1972.
“I’ve always been all about the kids and when you get involved with things, you learn that there's special things that you can do to give back,” Hammar said. “I’ve always lived my life God, family, and friends. So when my cousin Ted came to me and asked if I wanted to sponsor a Little League team, I asked, 'What does that entail?’”
At the time Hammar had a small welding shop at his house. Not only did he agree to sponsor a team, but he also got involved as a coach and even an umpire, something he did for more than 20 years.
Since that first season, Hammar turned his small welding shop into Hammar’s Contracting. His son Tim then took over the business in 2002 with his partner Terry Morris. In that time, the family has helped the Kimball Township Little League build new ball diamonds as the league acquired new land.
“It’s pretty amazing, I’ll tell ya. When you think about back in the day, we didn’t have ball diamonds. We played with all the different schools,” he recalled.
Now Tim Hammar continues his father’s legacy as he helped build the new tee-ball diamonds a few years ago and is joining several other contracting businesses (Jeff Ward Construction, Boddy Construction, Bill Ainsworth Construction, High Grade Concrete, Thuet Products, Manzo Painting, and Mortimer Lumber) in the construction of a new concession stand this season.
“Tim [Hammar] and his business partner Terry Morris took over and they’ve just continued to sponsor. He does so much more than I ever did,” Bob Hammar said. “It’s a big community effort.
“I’ve got to tell you, the people running [the Kimball Township Little League] now are amazing. They’re so dedicated to doing everything for the kids. It’s amazing when you have all these people, not just one or two families, you have all these people come out and help sponsor or run the organization.”
This year there are 22 tee-ball, baseball, and softball teams playing a part of Kimball Township, and Bob Hammar is particularly grateful to see his five great grandchildren play this season.
“It warms your heart to see that many kids out there on Saturday with their families and coaches,” he said. “We will continue to [help] as long as we’re in business. Right now business is good, so I'm assuming we’ll keep going.”
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Team photos (Courtesy | Alyson McPhail, KTLL):
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