ELM SPRINGS, Ark. - A Springdale baseball coach left an impression on his community after losing the battle to heart failure. A memorial was dedicated Sunday in Wendell Elliott's honor to remember all those late nights at the ballpark.
They say baseball is America's pastime.
"This place is so special to him...," Coach Chris Kozak said.
Small town fields creating big time players.
"The kids would be out there practicing and doing laps and he would always get an extra lap out of them," Kozak said.
Chris Kozak stood in the dugout with Wendell Elliott for years.
"He's probably my best friend until he passed away," Kozak said.
In January of this year, Elliott died at age of 51 from heart failure after coaching Springdale select baseball teams for almost two decades.
But Sunday, family, friends, and teammates unveiled the new name of the Elm Springs Baseball Park - the Wendell Elliot field.
"It's really competitive these days when it comes to sports, but I think there are a lot of lessons people can draw from the type of coach and the type of person he was," Kozak said.
Five months after Elliott died, Springdale Har-Ber High School won a state championship in baseball - making some of his select players champions.
Kozak presented Elliott's wife - Amy - with a honorary state championship ring.
Two diamonds engraved with a legacy.
"I like to this his physical condition of his heart giving out was because of how much he gave in life for others," Kozak said. "I know in those 51 years he gave more than people do when they live 90 to 100."
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