Opening Day 2014 – Dedication Ceremony for Watson Field.After a brief countdown the sign is unveiled to a huge ovation.There it is in all its glory and a truly awesome event and tribute to Bob Watson.
Dignitaries on hand from Left to Right. Bob Kalat who gave of his heart and soul for over 30 years as a board member so the kids of Forestville would have a great place to play.
It was Bob that led the fundraising and development for what was Field 4. This is now the softball field in Peck Park. Next to Bob is Maryellen Rossvall Holden. Up until recently she had taken over as the District 5 Administrator and a great friend to Forestville Little League.
Next you have Hank Lodge. who was recognized as the 2015 Volunteer of the Year for efforts along with Bob Montgomery (not shown) and friends to raise the funds for the Watson Sign, and leading the charge to get the field named after Bob Watson and for raising the necessary funds (again with Bob Montgomery & friends) to create the New Field for the T-Ball and Instructional kids to have a home of their own.
Last and certainly not least is Joe Philippon who as a board member is in charge of the FLL website and is the graphic designer behind the new FLL Logo. He also does many other things that are behind the scenes but are vital to the success of the league.
Who is Bob Watson and why does he deserve this Honor.
One need only to look at the name plate “Robert S. Watson, Sr”. to tell the amount of love and respect the Forestville Little League and Bristol community holds for Bob Watson, Sr.
Watson who passed in 2010, did so much for Little League in town that he’s known as Forestville’s “Mr. Little League”.
“If you played Little League or lived in Bristol at all you knew the name Bob Watson,” said Cory Simard, the manager of Forestville Little League.
Watson’s love for sports began when he was an athlete at Weaver High School where he played basketball and ran track.
When he moved to Bristol he played sports at the Forestville Boys Club and in 1955, coached his first Little League season.
For several decades after that he stayed involved with the league. He was a coach, a manager and held several other roles in support of Little League. He participated in all three Little League teams in Bristol, but Forestville was always his home league.
In 1976, Watson led his all-star team to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The team ended up getting fifth place in the World.
Watson also served as the district five administrator of Connecticut Little League for 30 years. Over that time he brought the annual Eastern Regional Little League Tournament to the A. Bartlett Little League Leadership Training Center in Bristol.
Then in 1995, Watson was named Connecticut’s Little League Volunteer of the Year.
“Of it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have as much for Little League in Bristol.” said Cory Simard.
Both parents and the kids playing appreciate what Little League brings to their lives.
According to Simard, the Watson tournament gives kids experience and the opportunity to improve their skills.
Bob was inducted into the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame with the Class of 1999. To read his bio and view his acceptance speech please visit www.bshof.org and looked under “Inductees”
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