George Hobbs helped start the Martinez-Evans Little League in 1967.
Forty-five years later, Hobbs’ legacy lives on.
His granddaughters, Jesse, 7, and Carlie, 6, competed in the MELL coach-pitch league this past season, following in the footsteps of their father Craig, who also played for MELL in his youth.
“Over the years it was always understood to me that dad helped start the Martinez-Evans Little League,” said Hobbs of his father, who died 18 years ago. “Now I’ve got my children playing Martinez-Evans Little League baseball and I grew up playing Martinez-Evans Little League baseball.
“So, it’s kind of a little special deal we got going right now for them to know that their granddad founded it and got it going.”
And back when MELL was created, it was a hands-on operation, said Hobbs. His father and friends, he said, set up Gibbs Field, where the old recreation center once stood.
“That was one of the first fields that was built in Columbia County for ball,” Hobbs said.
Growing up, being the son of a founder wasn’t a big deal for Hobbs.
“I was just playing ball,” Hobbs said. “It was being out on the ballfield, and getting dirty and all that, trying to win ball games. It was just a kind of a thing where in slight mentioning here and there, my mom (Mary Hobbs Ward), would say something like, ‘Yeah, you know your dad helped get this thing started.’
“As a kid, that kind of stuff goes in one ear and out the other. You just want to play.”
Because his father died before his daughters were born, Hobbs only can tell them about their grandfather’s legacy.
“I talked to them about it when we first got them signed up and they knew they were going to be playing baseball,” Hobbs said. “I just told them my dad is the one who got this whole league started that you guys are going to play in.”