ONEONTA — Six months after getting a new name, Joe Hughes Field at Oneonta High School finally has a name tag.
New scoreboards went up at the Oneonta baseball and softball fields Wednesday, with the board overlooking the baseball diamond bearing the name of the longtime coach who has more than 30 years of experience leading the Yellowjackets’ baseball team.
“When you start to talk about duration and impact on a broad number of kids through an extended time period ... it makes sense for what he did historically and his vision for the program since he took over,” Oneonta director of athletics Jerry Mackey said.
The OHS baseball facility was designated as Joe Hughes Field by Oneonta City School District Superintendent Thomas Brindley in September, according to a release on the district’s website.
Hughes, a 1976 graduate of OHS, had a distinguished baseball career of his own before returning to the district to teach in the 1980s. He has since led the OHS baseball team for more than 30 years, and last year retired as director of athletics after 20 years in that position.
“It seems like a little much but it’s very nice and I’m very humbled by the thought of Mr. Brindley and the school board and Mr. Mackey pursuing the idea,” Hughes said Thursday. “It’s not why you get into coaching or working with kids, but it’s a nice honor.”
Mackey said he had been hoping to find a game this coming baseball season for which Hughes’ family and friends could gather to celebrate the field’s dedication. While the opportunity to do so may not come to fruition, Hughes said he is more focused on being able to play the games themselves.
“I’m optimistic that we’ll play baseball this spring and I’m hoping that day comes,” he said. “The scoreboard ceremony will come when it comes.”