Thanks to action by Mayor Don Reimal and the Independence City Council, the field at Crysler Stadium will be named Bill Brewster Field next Thursday night, June 3, prior to an American Legion game between Independence Post 21 and Hi-Boy Drive In/Post 340. 

This is one telephone call I didn’t want to receive, and it obviously ruined my day.

I was informed that Bill Brewster, who was the Independence Department of Parks and Recreation Director from 1957 to 1993, is in poor health because of two types of cancers.

The call, though, also had some good news.

Thanks to action by Mayor Don Reimal and the Independence City Council, the field at Crysler Stadium will be named Bill Brewster Field next Thursday night, June 3, prior to an American Legion game between Independence Post 21 and Hi-Boy Drive In/Post 340. Despite his poor health, Brewster plans to attend.

After June 3, the facility will be called Crysler Stadium/Bill Brewster Field. A wonderful honor, to say the least, for a great friend.

“This is the nicest thing that could have happened,” he told his daughter Mary, with whom I had a long talk last weekend. “Many thanks for the entire city.”

Many will remember Brewster. I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people. A lifetime of helping others, especially when it came to recreation, has resulted in an 85-year-old person battling for his life.

I have been a writer for The Examiner 50-plus years. I have met many wonderful people. Brewster may well top the list.

He was a professional with a capital P. He also is an outstanding human being, husband and father. He has a son, who was a fine basketball player at Raytown High School.

A grandson is a junior and the starting center on the Ohio State University football team and likely will be a first-round NFL selection.

It has to be at least 10 years since I saw Brewster. It was when he, Circuit Court Judge Jack Gant and I met for lunch, something we would do occasionally that I always looked forward to.

I was the official scorer for many summer baseball tournaments at Crysler Stadium. I always told Bill he paid me more than I deserved. Perhaps it was because we had a mutual admiration for each other.

“To me, Bill was the most dedicated individual I have ever met. He works hours and hours and hours on improving the parks and recreation areas of our city,” Gant said. “He operated on a shoestring budget.

“He always had a smile on his face. He and wife Dorothy were a team. He loved people and kids. He and I became good friends. It’s a well-deserved honor.”

Gant was the president of the Queen City Athletic Association for 15 years. Thus, he and Brewster worked together on schedules, field assignments, etc. You may remember Gant’s grandson, Eric, was second-team All-Area basketball player last season at Oak Grove.

I’m praying for you, Bill. And congratulations to the mayor and City Council for having the professionalism and knowledge to justifiably honor you. Many people in this city will agree with the honor.