Tribute to a Legend...Ron Tellefsen
The late Ron Tellefsen served as President/CEO of Babe Ruth League, Inc. from 1980 until his death on March 5, 2005.
As President/CEO, Ron dramatically advanced the Babe Ruth League organization. His visionary leadership, courageous ability to execute changes, and ability to motivate people to constantly aim higher set a strong foundation for the success the company enjoys today.
Ron began his affiliation with the Babe Ruth program in 1956 as a manager for the Clarkstown, New York Babe Ruth League. In 1969, he began his professional career with Babe Ruth League, Inc. as Development Director. In 1971, he was promoted to Field Commissioner and in 1973 to Commissioner. Ron was named Vice President/Commissioner in 1978, making him a corporate officer. In September of 1980, the International Board of Directors elected Ronald Tellefsen to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer. He celebrated his 25th Board Meeting as President/CEO in December of 2004, right before his untimely passing the following March.
Ron 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, receiving the Arkansas Traveler Award and appointment as a Sagamore of the Wabash. He was inducted into the Rockland County (New York) Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the A.A. Comeaux Youth Hall of Fame (Louisiana) in 2004. Posthumously, he was inducted into the Babe Ruth League, Inc. Hall of Fame in 2006 and received the ABCA Meritorious Service Award in 2007.
Ron's love and pride for the Babe Ruth program reigned supreme. Some of his most memorable moments were spent with the Board of Directors, his staff, the volunteers he respected so much, but most importantly, the kids. His paramount objective was that every child be afforded the opportunity to play baseball or softball and to have fun doing so. He was 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 adults to keep their egos in check as no one knows when a child will reach their full develoopment in youth sports.
Ron's conviction was that childhood was the time of development that molded the type of adults we would become. He always believed that youth baseball and softball were the perfect avenues by which to teach the game of life. He instilled that every child deserves to have special moments and memories. Above all else, he made sure the Babe Ruth program was about providing a positive environment so our youth could develop their skills with an optimistic outlook and with respect for the game, each other, the adults involved, and most importantly, themselves. Ron often indicated that as advocates of youth sports, our responsibilities needed to go beyond the field of play. We are responsible for guiding and molding young athletes into strong adults to become future leaders.
Ron cherished and respected every member of the Babe Ruth Family. His heartfelt desire was to make sure everyone knew they were appreciated. 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.
Ron was an accomplisher of the impossible, but humbly remained in the background. He always amazed everyone with the many new and innovative ideas he had for the future betterment of the Babe Ruth program.
Ron made friends everywhere he traveled, from a 2-year-old to a 99-year-old, regardless of their walk in life. He treated everyone equally and with respect.
Ron was the spirit of humanity. He was dedicated beyond the call and touched the lives of millions.