Roy Hobbs Baseball Hall of Fame Plaque
From the Roy Hobbs Hall of Fame Programwritten by Glenn Miller
Kevin McBurney was several weeks shy of turning 57 when he died on June 4 of this year. His impact on baseball and his Rhode Island community can be gauged by what folks said when nominating him for the Roy Hobbs Hall of Fame, and also on his memorial page. Kevin was a powerhouse organizer of Roy Hobbs Baseball in his home state and a supportive teammate and manager.
Joe Pavao wrote this on the Manning-Heffern Funeral Home tribute page: "What a great spirit he had. I played baseball with him and as a teammate he was the greatest."
Paul Lonardo wrote this: "Wherever you are, I hope there's baseball, and if there isn't, I know you will start your own league. I hope you find peace playing on a field of your dreams."
The phrase from the men who nominated Kevin was crucial in his election to the Hall of fame...for his inspirational leadership, passion for the game, organizational skills, and playing ability.
Kevin, an attorney, was a Roy Hobbs pioneer in Rhode Island, working to start leagues there many years ago. He was also an outstanding player, one who played in an elite collegiate program at the University of Miami. Yet, the nominators said he never bragged about his own accomplishments and was always willing to help less talented players.
Dick Kissik in his nominating comments wrote, "As a coach, he would build the confidence of the average players and would work with them to improve their baseball skills."
Dave Abate wrote that he played with Kevin for 13 years and that Kevin had been a star high school player who was there for all of his teammates.
"Besides being a very good player, he was also a good person," Abate wrote. "He would always help players improve thier baseball playing abilities and for those who couldn't afford all the costs of playing baseball in their league, or go to the World Series, he was there to help them."
Kevin was involved in adult baseball in Rhode Isaland for more than 25 years, starting when many teams were involved in MSBL.
Now, at a too-young age, Kevin McBurney is gone from the world of baseball and Roy Hobbs in Rhode Island, but his legacy and memory live on in the hearts of his teammates and friends...and in the Roy Hobbs Hall of Fame.
Gary Dadekian, Alex, Dave Abate, Dick Kissik, Ashley
Tom Giffen reading Hall of Fame plaque to Kevin's children Ashley and Alex,
with Dave Abate and Jack DeHeer
Dave Abate's acceptance speech for Kevin's induction:
"Thank you to Tom Giffen and the Roy Hobbs Hall of Fame committee. On behalf of the RI/MA Baseball League, and Kevin's baseball family, I graciuosly accept this award for our, and my, friend Kevin Barry McBurney. Kevin would be humbled by the award that you have bestowed upon him. His love for the game and for his baseball friends was paramount to him. The way Kevin celebtrated his baseball was being on a field the whole year and Kevin got to live that, and that meant more to him than any trophy or plaque. May Kevin's perpetual smile shine down on us in the months and years to come as a reminder that you, our teammate, is still with us. Congratulations, Kenin Barry McBurney."
Gary Dadekian, Paul Doucette, and Dick Kissik
Jack DeHeer, Dick Kissik, and Dave Abate