A labor of love is the best way to describe the commitment that George Bettis and 3 generations of Bettis family gave to Shawnee County Amateur Baseball Association. George was a key force establishing SCABA and growing it to meet the needs of youth of all ages including his 3 sons.
A LABOR OF LOVE
He was on the SCABA Board of Directors and served as Treasurer, he 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 SCABA 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 3 original diamonds at SCABA and worked to get lights on the fields. When the lights were not good enough, he purchased orange baseballs to try to improve 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 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. Terry's wife Karen was his high school sweetheart. She cheered from the sidelines at Topeka West where he was a football and basketball star player. Terry was quarterback on the Charger football team and led them to their first winning season in 1964. Karen continued to be Terry's biggest fan over the years when he played and 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.