David “Ogi” Overman with the Bill White story

article courtesy of Ogi Overman at The Jamestown News:

Nine added to ranks of Bill White Scholars
By Ogi Overman

When Bill White died in 1980, his obituary in the Greensboro News & Record mentioned that a scholarship fund in his name was being started and asked for donations. From that one solicitation came enough funds to endow the scholarship, and the following year the first William J. White Scholarship was awarded to Bobby Dawson.
Since that time a total of 145 scholarships have been awarded and the endowmentâ€s accrued interest now amounts to $125,000.

The scholarships are awarded to former area Colt League players (15 and 16 year olds) who are now entering college. It is based on need, citizenship and academic achievement. This year nine student-athletes were awarded scholarships totaling $7,500 in a July 29 ceremony at Greensboroâ€s War Memorial Stadium between games of the opening round of the Colt East Zone Tournament.

The Class of 2009 consists of (as well as their respective high school and college):
Glen Clemmons, Northwest, N.C. State;
David Coffey, Ragsdale, UNC Chapel Hill;
Nathan Cook, Northwest, N.C. State;
Gabe Dimock, Grimsley, Appalachian State;
Trey Gilmore, Southeast, N.C. State;
Robert Knight, Southern, N.C. State;
Ethan Ogburn, Southwest, N.C. State;
Ethan Payne, Northeast, Greensboro College;
Mick Raynor, Eastern, Rockingham Community College.

Nearly three decades after his death, Bill White remains an iconic figure in the annals of Greensboro youth baseball. He was the founder of the Colt League in 1965 and was also instrumental in getting Little League and Pony League on its feet.

“He was concerned about 15 and 16 year olds having to play American Legion ball with 17 and 18 year olds, and felt they should have their own league,” said Ned McMillan, who is chairman of the scholarship fund. “So he and Bill Stoner and a few others started Greensboro Youth Baseball, which is the non-profit that runs all the leagues. He ran the Colt League and coached the all-star team, which we called the Green Team, until his death in 1980.”

Fittingly, the White-coached local squad won the Colt World Series in the teamâ€s first year of existence.

White also felt that a new youth stadium was needed in Greensboro and spearheaded the drive to build a stadium off Pisgah Church Road near the Guilford Battleground. It opened in 1975, and shortly after White died it was renamed Stoner-White Stadium at Jaycee Park.

“There was not an appropriate place for 15 and 16 year olds to play at that time,” said McMillan. “The walls were farther out at Memorial Stadium than they are now, and it was just way too big. It was a huge Jaycee project and they got a Land and Water Conservation grant too.”

McMillan, a financial analyst turned elementary school teacher, added, “Itâ€s a privilege for me to administer this scholarship in his name. You just canâ€t overestimate what Bill White meant to youth baseball around here over the years.”

A hundred and forty-five young and not-so young men would attest to that.

Our thanks to Ogi Overman for this fine article.