Midwest Plains Region Hall of Fame
It is with tremendous pride and excitement that we announce the induction of three outstanding individuals into the esteemed Midwest Plains Region Hall of Fame. Bob Willis, Paul Unrau, and Mark Donley have each made their mark on the world of youth sports.
Bob Willis - Bob first became acquainted with Babe Ruth Baseball as a young player on a local league team in Wellington, Kansas, his beloved hometown. Fast-forwarding twenty years, Bob enthusiastically began coaching in the local league while simultaneously taking on the roles of secretary and treasurer on the board. His unwavering dedication to the sport soon led him to positions as Assistant District Commissioner and District Commissioner, before eventually being appointed Kansas State Babe Ruth Commissioner in 2009. Bob has played a pivotal role in organizing a multitude of State and Regional Tournaments, and in 2022, he had the distinct honor of joining the task force for the 13-15 World Series in Stafford, Virginia. In appreciation of his remarkable contributions, Bob was inducted into the Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame in 2005.
Paul Unrau - It was coaching that sparked Paul's interest in Babe Ruth Baseball. He started his journey in the recreation program, and in 1979, he transitioned to the Babe Ruth program in his hometown of Moundridge, Kansas. Here, he co-founded the Newton Babe Ruth League and later played a crucial role in establishing the Mid-Kansas Babe Ruth League.
In addition to serving as an officer in the local league, Paul also dedicated his time to various other roles. He was the Kansas Assistant State Commissioner for 9 and 11-year-olds, a tournament director for numerous state and regional tournaments, and treasurer on the Kansas Babe Ruth Board of Directors. Eventually, he took on the responsibility of Cal Ripken State Commissioner. In recognition of his immense contributions to the sport, Paul was inducted into the Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame in 2006.
Mark Donley - Mark's journey in Babe Ruth Baseball began when he played in the 13-15-year-old program in Udall and Atlanta, Kansas. As an adult, he took on numerous roles within the baseball community, including serving as the Udall town representative in the South Central Babe Ruth League and as a member of the Udall Recreation Commission. Later, Mark stepped up as the president of the South Central League, where he introduced Babe Ruth Softball.
Mark's dedication to the sport led him to join the task force for various State and Regional Tournaments, and in 2007, he was appointed as the Kansas State Softball Commissioner. In recognition of his significant contributions to the sport, Mark was inducted into the Kansas Babe Ruth Hall of Fame in 2019.
Pictured below (Tim Kuntz Regional Commissioner, Mark Donley, Bob Willis, Paul Unrau)