By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star
---- — Years of service to the community by the Rev. Ken Baldwin and his wife, Nancy, will be recognized today at Damaschke Field.
A group spearheaded by Mayor Dick Miller and Oneonta Outlaws general manager Steve Pindar have organized Baldwin Night. Admission is free.
The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
Miller said that when he learned the couple, who moved to Oneonta 25 years ago, will be moving in early July to be near their children in the Rochester area, many in the community would want to recognize them for their loyalty and contributions over the years.
There will be a ceremony before the game at home plate, and Ken will throw out the first pitch. There will be a reception tent so people will have the opportunity to stop by and say hello.
“I was quite overwhelmed when the mayor let me know. We are appreciative of it,” Ken Baldwin said about the honor. “We leave Oneonta with some regrets,” but the couple were looking forward to spending time with their children, who live nearby their new Fairport home.
“It offers new opportunities and new challenges,” he said.
He retired in 1988, at age 65, as the reverend at what was then Treadwell Methodist Church, but that never slowed him down, as he was served in many of the area churches when they needed a minister.
He was also involved in a number of organizations. The two most significant are Rotary, where he served as local president and been active at the district and regional level, and Foothills Performing Arts Center.
He has enjoyed watching baseball over the years at Damaschke Field and playing golf at the Ouleout Creek Golf Course. Nancy Baldwin has been involved with such organizations as the Family Services Association and the Hanford Mills Museum. The couple attend the First United Methodist Church.
Others involved in planning the event include Teressa Sivers of the First United Methodist Church, Rev. Judy Thistle, A.O. Fox Hospital chaplain, Paul Patterson of the Oneonta Rotary Club, Len Carson of the Veterans Club and Chris Kuhn of the Job Corps Center.
Miller said he has developed a friendship over the years with Ken Baldwin as they worked to keep a baseball team in Oneonta and in various capacities at Foothills. He knew that other organizations might want to do their own thing for the couple, but “this was a chance for a community-wide event.”
Pindar said it’s a “thrill” for the Oneonta Outlaws to participate. For as long as he can remember Baldwin has been “a loyal fan” of whatever team called the stadium home.
“It’s going to be a tremendous night,” as long as the weather cooperates, he said.