To be elected into the Babe Ruth Hall of Fame, a person/company must have played a vital role in the development of Babe Ruth players, five through eighteen years of age.
Ron Tellefsen began his affiliation with the Babe Ruth program in 1956 as a manager for the Clarkstown, New York Babe Ruth League. He began his professional career in 1969 as Development Director for Babe Ruth League, Inc., administering the national 16-18 program. Promoted to Field Commissioner in 1971, he assumed responsibility for the entire field operation for both the 13-15 and 16-18 divisions of Babe Ruth Baseball. In 1973, Ron was named Commissioner of Babe Ruth League, Inc. In 1979 he was promoted to Vice President/Commissioner by the Board of Directors. In September of 1980, the beginning of the 1981 fiscal year, the International Board of Directors elected Ronald Tellefsen to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer, the position he held until his untimely passing.
Ron Tellefsen was respected for his knowledge of baseball and as a result was a long-time member of the Advisory Board of the Major League Baseball Rules Committee. He was a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association, and the Character Counts Coalition for Youth Sports. Special honors included being named a Kentucky Colonel, presented the Arkansas Traveler Award, and appointed as a Sagamore of the Wabash (Indiana). Ron had been a member of the Delaware Valley Umpires Association. He was inducted into the RocklandCounty (New York) Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the A.A. Comeaux Youth Hall of Fame (Louisiana) in 2004.
Ron Tellefsen respected every member of the "Babe Ruth Family". His heartfelt desire was to make sure everyone knew they were appreciated for their dedication and extra efforts given to the program. Ron's philosophy portrayed that leadership was not achieved through one individual, but through the collective action of many. He was born to lead and quick to give praise to those around him and to include them in his success.
His record for personal integrity and commitment to our nation's youth was unsurpassed. Ron's paramount objective was that every child be afforded the opportunity to play baseball or softball and to have fun doing so. He was totally against any league cutting kids from teams. His motto was to let the players decide for themselves if the game was right for them. He often reminded the adults to keep their egos in check as no one knows when a child will reach their full development in youth sports. His enthusiasm for youth and youth activities significantly changed the lives, for the better, of thousands of children worldwide.
Prior to Ronald Tellefsen becoming President/CEO in 1980, the program consisted of 2,220 leagues, 14,080 teams and 325,000 participants. At the time of his death, the program boasted a membership of approximately one million youth participating on over 50,000 teams in 8,300 leagues.
Chairman of the Board Bill Smith remarked, "It is a proud moment for Babe Ruth League, Inc. to have Ronald Tellefsen inducted into the Hall of Fame. His visionary leadership played a vital role in the program's success, as well as kept Babe Ruth League, Inc. on the cutting edge of the youth sports arena."
In hearing the news of Ron's election into the Hall of Fame, Babe Ruth President/CEO Steven Tellefsen said, "I would like to sincerely thank the Board for inducting Ron into the Hall of Fame. It was because of his sharp business acumen and corporate insight that the program has flourished and experienced great growth in participants year after year. It is also because of the solid foundation set by Ron and our loyal volunteer base, that I couldn't feel more positive about our prospects for the future."
Under Ron Tellefsen's 25-year reign as President/CEO, the program flourished to include the following achievements: established the 13-Year-Old Prep Division; adopted the Bambino Division for players 12 years of age and under (now known as the Cal Ripken Division); organized the Babe Ruth International Umpires Association; established a Babe Ruth Softball program for girls ages 5-18; established nine Babe Ruth World Series - seven baseball and two softball; because of his longtime association and friendship with Ron Tellefsen, lifetime Babe Ruth volunteer Don Edwards bequeathed the 28 acre complex named in his honor to Babe Ruth League, Inc. (now known as the Babe Ruth Complex, an international showcase for the program); implemented the policy whereby BRL, Inc. pays full travel costs for participating teams to each of nine World Series, and the implementation of Service Representatives with toll-free numbers for the convenience of the leagues and officials. He is also solely credit with Babe Ruth League, Inc.'s permanent inclusion as part of the estate of the man, George Herman "Babe" Ruth.