Top of the Morning, Jan. 19, 2019

Top of the Morning, Jan. 19, 2019

There will be a celebration of life for Villa Grove's BOB KNIGHT a week from Sunday at Tri-City Country Club.

His family will be easy to spot.

To pay tribute to Mr. Knight — and his love of baseball — they've ordered green-and-gray "Team Knight" jerseys to wear that afternoon.

"He'd probably say 'That's pretty awesome,'" said MARK KNIGHT, one of his five children. "Baseball was his passion."

That was clear in the wonderful obituary that ran in Wednesday's News-Gazette (Mr. Knight, 91, died Jan. 12). It noted his exemplary minor-league career that saw him mix it up with the likes of WILLIE MAYS, ROCKY COLAVITO and BILL WHITE. Twice, he hit home runs off Hall of Fame pitcher HOYT WILHELM.

"He owned Hoyt," Mark said.

One of the family's favorite stories: Mr. Knight was in the batter's box after a teammate hit a home run. Sensing that the frustrated pitcher would retaliate by beaning him, "Dad told the catcher, 'If that ball even comes close to me, I'm going to take this bat and hit you over the head with it,'" Mark said. "The next pitch was way outside.

"Dad was tough, and he could be pretty convincing."

Mr. Knight later starred in slow-pitch softball in Champaign until the need for a pacemaker cut short his career. He spent his remaining days attending games involving his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Back to the Jan. 27 celebration of life (1-4 p.m.): If you're planning to attend, the family reminds you that there is a dress code:

"In honor of his love of baseball, we ask that you wear your favorite baseball team jersey or T-shirt."


"This is a celebration for him," Mark said. "He would have loved the idea."

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