A LABOR OF LOVE, July 3, 2014
A labor of love is the best way to describe the commitment that George Bettis and three generations of the Bettis family gave to Shawnee County Amateur Baseball Association. George was a key force in establishing SCABA and growing it to meet the needs of youth of all ages including his three sons. He was on the SCABA Board of Directors and was an active coach who started a number of teams. George was always ready to provide instruction and encouragement to the youngest players, sons and grandsons. His sons, Terry, Duane, and Kim were ever present helping their Dad get the SCABA fields ready for play.
George's wife Mary helped run and managed the concessions at SCABA. Their daughter Cheryl helped Mary in the concession stand. A normal day would start with Mary and kids picking up George after work at Santa Fe and heading to SCABA. George would change clothes in the concession stand and put his time in until the family went home, often as late as midnight.
George helped build the three original diamonds at SCABA and worked to get lights installed on the fields. When the lights were not good enough, he purchased orange baseballs to try to improve help kids’ fielding skills.
One thing you knew for sure, when George was on the field of competition, he came to play and played to win. George always carried a rulebook in his back pocket and was quick to educate an unknowing umpire.
George Bettis represents the unselfish spirit of all those who had the vision and made the effort to build SCABA. George received recognition for his work when named "Mr. Baseball of Topeka" in 1965 by the Topeka Baseball Federation.
The Bettis family is blessed with many talented kids and grandkids. Terry was a star player for Washburn University and played professional baseball. He was a star football and basketball player at Topeka West where he quarterbacked the Charger football team to their first winning season in 1964. He later coached sons Mark and Eric and daughter Ashley.
It is with great appreciation that Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Foundation and the Board of County Commissioners dedicate the Bettis Family Sports Complex in memory of George Bettis, in honor of Terry Bettis and the entire Bettis family who have participated and contributed to the Bettis Family legacy at Lake Shawnee.