High Point Ballfield Dedicated to Albert Jobe
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
During the High Point Homecoming held Saturday, Sept. 3, a special dedication took place renaming the High Point Ballfield the Albert Jobe Ballfield after the longtime coach and bus driver. Patty Wells, Jobe's daughter, was on hand to receive a proclamation from Representative Caleb Jones, passed by the Missouri State House, honoring Jobe along with the plaque dedicating the field presented by High Point Community Renewal Association President Marlene Snyder and School Board President Jason Blankenship. A sign made by Hoback Fence was also erected marking the ballfield as the Albert Jobe Ballfield.
The Rev. Justin Houston led the invocation and Rev. Ken Barnhart, who also played ball under Jobe, gave the dedication and was a key figure in organizing the event.
"A couple of months ago High Point alumni started a page on Facebook for the High Point community," Rev. Barnhart said. "And an idea was put out one day to get together and have a ballgame. The best time to do it was during Homecoming and folks responded really well. We took the idea to the Community Renewal Association and they gave us the go-ahead. While we were organizing the game, it kept coming up that we should do the game in honor of Jobe. Someone then suggested we should name the field after him. We contacted Superintendent Toni Westbrooks on a Thursday, about getting in touch with the School Board. She contacted me within an hour saying we were on the agenda for that Monday's School Board meeting. I live five hours away and could not make the meeting but asked if I could conference call, and they agreed and interviewed me during the meeting. An hour later I was contacted and they voted to do it. It was the right thing and many feel it should have been done years ago."
After the dedication ceremony many former alumni got together and played a ballgame again including Rev. Barnhart and Wells. Rev. Barnhart will never forget the impact Jobe made on his life. He said Jobe taught them about playing the game right and several of the rules he taught them applied to life as well. Number one was coming together and being a team, everybody is special and brings unique qualities to the field, but they are doing it for something bigger than themselves. Second was having each other's back and being there to support and the third lesson was picking each other up when they messed up. Rev. Barnhart said this was especially important as when the players under Jobe made a mistake, he would not put them down or yell at them but would patiently work with them later making sure they knew they were an "error" as Rev. Barnhart put it.
"I think the life lesson to be learned from my father is to always keep your composure," Wells said. "Supporting, guiding and making contributions to others' lives is so important. A lesson for me was to not lose your temper, respect the umpires and other coaches and players. Most of the people we played with have become lifelong friends."
Rev. Barnhart said the ceremony and game were a "Holy Moment" adding where two or more are gathered God is there and he added in this instance, Jobe and other longtime friends and mentors were there, too. He added for everything to have been pushed through so well, "the Holy Spirit was saying this is the time. I have been around long enough to know that only happens when God is involved directly."
Rev. Barnhart said he may have some prejudice, but that High Point has the ability, "to take you as you are, to recognize your skills and talents and to work with and around those so you become part of the team and community."
After being christened by alumni, the ballfield was then used the next night to host the annual Nightlight softball/kickball tournament which brings in church youth groups from all over the state to have fun and "glorify God."
"This event was just a wonderful tribute to my father's memory," Wells said. "He loved all the teams he coached and all the players. He put so much time and effort into making the field beautiful and he just wanted everyone to have a good time and enjoy playing."
Wells added seeing the community come out and support everything was overwhelming for her. She added she saw many people not seen in a long time and others who traveled many miles to honor her father which meant a lot to her.
Wells said the entire Jobe family who attended the event in blue and white shirts honoring Albert Jobe appreciated all the work which went into the dedication ceremony. Here is an excerpt taken from Wells speech during the ceremony,
"Life is full of memories and some really fun times were on this ball diamond. It seems like yesterday dad would tell me to just throw that rise ball and make the batter swing under it. He made playing softball fun. He never grew tired of it. I remember a game played against Foremost from Springfield on this diamond. We had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning and we needed a hit to score winning run. Carol Beth Martine Martin was our clean up batter and came up to bat. She hit a triple to win the game for us and we all jumped up and down with joy. I think dad jumped higher than any of us girls. He was so proud of her as he was of all of his team members. Everyone had their special role on the team."