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Loughary fans gather at MAC field Saturday

The man who helped bring baseball to MAC gets his name on the field Saturday as Mineral Area College dedicates its baseball field to Hal Loughary.

More than 50 former baseball players will be by his side, including Terry Huff, Glen Herbst, Gary Harris, Jim Bob DeWerff, Ted Wilkins. Many more will bring their children and grandchildren.

 Loughary coached the Cardinal baseball team from 1967 to 1987. MAC President Dr. Steve Kurtz said several former players approached the college with the idea to honor their former coach.

“From what I understand, he was a coach who had a great rapport with his players and with the community, preparing them for not only the baseball field, but for life and careers in general,” Kurtz said. “When you think about it, that’s the best career record to have.”

 The public is invited to attend the field dedication, which will begin at 11 a.m., Saturday at MAC with free hotdogs, peanuts and soda. The audience will take their seats at 11:15 a.m. for a small ceremony, and the national anthem will open the doubleheader against Crowder College at noon.

 In case of inclement weather, the 11 a.m. ceremonies will be held at the North College Center.

 This is the second time this decade that Loughary has been on campus to celebrate MAC’s baseball field, construction of which took place in 2002. During the groundbreaking ceremonies back then, he arrived at the ceremonies sporting the same baseball uniform he had worn more than 15 years earlier as coach, and he recalled the days when he and the baseball team would travel back and forth to Farmington’s Wilson-Rozier Park for “home” games.

 “We got the job done, but it sure would have been nice to play on campus,” he said at the time.

 Later, when field construction was finished, Loughary indicated it was a high point for MAC baseball.

 “Getting this baseball field at MAC has been a long struggle and it pleases so many area MAC baseball fans and local families to finally see the MAC baseball team have a field to call its own and a true home field advantage,” he said in 2004, when the first games were played on the Park Hills campus.

 Shortly after baseball games were being played on the field, Loughary recalled his 20 years at MAC.

 “I have absolutely no regrets about my two decades at MAC,” he said. “They were the best years of my life and I met a lot of great people, many of them are young men who played for me. Many outstanding young men who were affiliated with MAC baseball went on to successful careers. I enjoyed and respected them all. We remember our kids who made it to the major leagues as Tim Lollar, Scott Little, Steve Bieser. We also remember those who share the game by teaching and coaching like Mark Hogan, head baseball coach at SEMO and Keith Guten who coached at Southwest Missouri State for many years.”

The 79-year-old retired coach lives in Farmington and enjoys hearing from his former players.

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