SAN PABLO -- The baseball field at San Pablo's renovated John Hubert Davis Park will be renamed in memory of the late Robert Accie Foreman Jr., who personified youth baseball in this mostly working-class city for more than a generation.
"Coach Bob," as Foreman was affectionately known to players, parents and friends, died of cancer Jan. 14; he was 60.
For more than 30 years, Foreman was the president and the driving force of the San Pablo Baseball Association, the oldest youth baseball organization in West Contra Costa and an affiliate of the national PONY baseball system -- the initials stand for "Protect Our Nation's Youth."
"He was the eyes and ears, the hands and feet, as well as the heart and soul of our city's youth baseball program," Councilman Rich Kinney said at Monday night's City Council meeting; Kinney is a basketball coach at Richmond High School and a substitute teacher at Richmond High as well as at Helms Middle School in San Pablo.
The council approved a posthumous proclamation honoring Foreman, who for many years also coached in the West County Spartans youth football program, hailing him as a mentor, motivator and teacher. The council also voted to name the Davis Park ball field in Foreman's memory.
To do so, the council first had to repeal its previous policy for naming and memorializing public facilities, which provided that an individual to be honored had to have been deceased for a minimum of two years.
The vote Monday was 3-0. Present were Councilmen Kinney and Paul Morris and Mayor Genoveva Garcia Calloway. Councilwomen Cecilia Valdez and Kathy Chao Rothberg were absent because of illness.
A bronze plaque commemorating Foreman will be unveiled at the ballfield as part of a Grand Opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovated Davis Park sometime in April, according to San Pablo Public Works Director Adele Ho.