With a smile on our face, a tear in our eye, and a hole in our hearts, Babe Ruth League bids farewell to a dear friend – Irby Joseph Luquette, 90, who passed away on December 25, 2016. Our deepest heartfelt sympathies go out to the Luquette Family.
Irby Luquette had two loves in his life - his family and baseball. And the two were intimately intertwined.
Irby was a fixture at the ballpark, first as a father and baseball coach for his sons, and then later just because baseball was a part of who he was.
Irby shared his love of the game of baseball with Babe Ruth League participants for over 58 years. He positively shaped the lives of many youngsters, serving as a coach, manager, umpire, League President, District Director, State Commissioner, Regional Commissioner, Tournament Director and World Series consultant. Many times, parents of children that benefitted from Irby’s involvement in Babe Ruth League programs would thank him for his encouraging impact on their children.
In addition to being involved with Babe Ruth at the local league, state and regional levels, Irby served numerous terms as a Tournament Director for many District, State and Regional Tournaments. As well, Irby served on the first Abbeville World Series committee and was very instrumental in bringing the 1974 Babe Ruth 13-15 World Series to Abbeville. This was the very first tournament to show a profit, also breaking the record for attendance at that time. Plus, Irby helped prepare the Abbeville facility for the first Bambino World Series to be hosted in Louisiana in 1995.
Even after he retired from Babe Ruth League, Irby continued to watch the local Vermilion teams compete. People who knew him could count on seeing him at the ballpark most days seated in his folding chair as near to home plate as possible.
Irby was recognized both locally and nationally for his contributions to youth baseball with a ballfield named after him in Abbeville to being inducted into the International Babe Ruth League Hall of Fame. Over the last four years, the family established the Irby J. Luquette Scholarship Program in conjunction with the Babe Ruth League Alumni Association, which provides college tuition to underprivileged high school students who embody the character and work ethic that Irby exemplified himself.
Babe Ruth League is extremely fortunate to have had Irby Luquette a member of its team. He was a hard-working, tireless volunteer who gave so much back to the Babe Ruth League community. His values and traditions have helped many youths achieve their goals and encouraged their drive for personal excellence.
His memory will live on in all of us. He was Babe Ruth Royalty and a Legend in his own time.