With a tear in our eye and a hole in our hearts, Babe Ruth League bids farewell to a legend, Norman Dean Travis, who passed away on January 21, 2021.
Norm was raised by his mother’s parents, Roy and Gertie George, or as you would hear him call them, Mom and Dad.
He grew up in and around Vona, Colorado, and graduated from Vona High School in May 1948. Ever mischievous, one would hear all his stories of childhood like when the water tank in town would freeze in the winter and he and his friends would sled down the ice, "some of us got our heads cracked a time or two."
Although he always had fun, he was never one to back down from what he thought was right. He drove the bus towards the end of high school and had to kick a kid off and make him walk home because he just wouldn't stop pulling on a little girl's pigtails.
Norm loved the game of baseball, he played in high school and then in the minor leagues in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League, a New York Yankee affiliate as a pitcher. A shoulder injury stopped him from playing the game, but not from loving it.
He began his affiliation with Babe Ruth League in 195,7 and served in numerous positions at the local league level, and as Colorado State Commissioner and Midwest Plains Assistant Regional Commissioner. In1986, he was elected as Midwest Plains Regional Commissioner, making him an automatic member of the Babe Ruth League International Board of Directors. Up until his passing he continued to volunteer with Babe Ruth and served on the Board of Directors as an At-Large Member.
In 2010 he was inducted into the Babe Ruth League International Hall of Fame. One of his uniforms can be found in the Old Town Museum in Burlington, Colorado
Norm not only loved playing the game and volunteering for Babe Ruth, but he also loved to watch his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow their love and respect for the game.
While he was playing ball, he decided to go out dancing one night, and that's where he met the love of his life, Colleen Zogg. They dated and went dancing every weekend and soon got married on June 11, 1950. Of course, being the baseball lover he was, they spent their honeymoon watching baseball in Denver. Not very long after, their first child Mary Lou was born March 1951, followed by Cindy Lee in June 1953, Gary Dean in March 1955, and Larry Gene in February 1957.
Family was always the most important thing to Norm and the most influential people in his life were his family. His grandmas, Gertie George and Alice Shannon, were his role models along with his Uncle Sam Travis.
Norm took care of his family and held it together through the loss of two children and eventually his wife. He always made sure his kids, grandkids, and great grandkids were taken care of no matter the circumstances.
He supported the kids and grandkids, and later great grandkids in all of their athletic ventures. He and Colleen would travel and take the grandkids to their events.
This support wasn't just for their family, but also for the many kids Norm interacted with in the Babe Ruth League. He and Colleen could be found at many tournaments showing their support.
Babe Ruth League recognized their support with a sportsmanship award in their name that is given at every Midwest Plains Regional Tournament, baseball and softball: The Norm and Colleen Travis Sportsmanship Award.
Babe Ruth League is extremely fortunate to have had Norm Travis a member of its team. He was a hard-working, tireless volunteer who gave so much back to the Babe Ruth League community. His memory will live on in all of us. Norm Travis was Babe Ruth Royalty and is truly a Legend.