Littleton High School's baseball field has a new name: Willie White Field, after the longtime coach who led and inspired young men for a generation.
White, 84, was the guest of honor on Sept. 28, as hundreds of former baseball players and fellow coaches gathered at the field to pay tribute to the man who led the Lions to two state championships.
“I think they've got the wrong guy,” said White, seated beside his wife Margaret. “There were so many great coaches here. And the kids — I was so lucky to have such great kids. They made coaching easy.”
White was the LHS baseball coach from 1970-1990. He earned a World Series ring from the Philadelphia Phillies as a member of their scouting staff for nearly 20 years, and a slew of other honors from state baseball groups.
Honoring White by naming his old field after him was the least his old players could do for him, said Donnie Alexander, who pitched on the LHS varsity team in the late 1980s and spearheaded the effort to rename the field.
“More than a coach, he was a father figure,” said Alexander, who went on to play baseball at the University of Northern Colorado and for Ogden, Utah's minor league team, and now works as a financial advisor in Grand Junction. “He taught us how to be friends, brothers, husbands and fathers.”
Renaming the field took some heavy lifting, Alexander said, because Littleton Public Schools policy previously forbade naming facilities after living people.
But changing the policy for White made sense, said LPS superintendent Brian Ewert.
“We're glad we can honor Coach Willie while he's still here to enjoy it,” Ewert said. “We talk a lot about providing good role models for kids, and here's someone who affected the life trajectories of so many young people.”
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