UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

‘Katie will stay with us forever’

051811NewsAndNotes_KatieBallKatie Ball ’06 was an organizer and a people person, leaving her mark on UNCG’s baseball program. For four years as an undergraduate, 2002-6, she became an important part of the team as its administrative assistant.

She left for graduate studies at East Carolina University, and was diagnosed with cancer. She died in 2007.

She loved children. Coach Mike Gaski and the team wanted her to be remembered with a special area where kids and families could have a hotdog or ice cream during the game, a grassy spot with umbrella-protected tables between the concessions area and the new Baseball fieldhouse located on the southern side of the stadium. The facility was unveiled to the public on Saturday. But first, a few moments to remember Katie Ball.

“We are here to dedicate Katie’s Korner,” Chancellor Linda P. Brady said. The chancellor explained that she had not known her, but had learned of her significance to the baseball program. “We are pleased we are able to remember her in this way.”

The rains began as Brady concluded her remarks, first a few drops then a downpour, as Coach Mike Gaski spoke. Some of the current players had known her, he said, and he spoke about her personal qualities. She taught them about how to treat people. Katie Ball loved roses, Gaski said, presenting a bouquet of roses to Katie’s family and hugging Katie’s mother.

“We lose people,” Gaski said, as the downpour began in earnest, sending most of the fans for cover. “Katie will stay with us forever.”

There have been a lot of great moments at the Baseball Stadium this year. You’ve seen relatively few home runs. What you have seen is a huge number of sacrifice bunts (they’re one of the national leaders), players giving themselves up so that others have a better chance of scoring. Supportive families – the players’ parents collectively sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at the final home game Sunday. And now, kids enjoying a snack in Katie’s Korner.

The baseball team, which has won 12 of its last 13 games, concludes its regular season schedule at Wofford May 20-22.

By Mike Harris
Visual:  Nancy and Lee Ball, Katie’s parents, receive roses from Gaski at the dedication. Photograph by Mike Harris.