William “Mac” McGowan has forgotten more baseball than most people will ever know, but he hasn’t forgotten all that much. Some people have spent years working in amateur baseball. “Mac” has spent decades.
Bill started managing the Gibbon town baseball team in the Western Minnesota League in 1933. He managed the team until resigning the position in 1937. In 1942, he was named 4B Regional Commissioner, a position he held for almost 40 years.
In 1981, Bill was elected to the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Board of Directors, and served as First Vice-President from 1987 to 1990, when he was elected to a three-year term as president.
Bill was elected to the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964, the second year of its existence. Bill served on the Hall of Fame selection committee for 15 years, retiring from this position in 1997.
“Mac” recently celebrated his 103rd birthday.
The Gibbon Reds recently won their first game in thirty years. For 29 of those years they hadn’t fielded a team. Bill's enthusiasm for the game has been passed on.
When the Gibbon City Council met to determine what to name the newly refurbished field, there was only one suggestion.
“McGowan Field” was formally dedicated on Sunday, July 17th, at 5 PM. Immediately following, Gibbon took on the dreaded Stark Longhorns. “Mac” may not have personally known all the ballplayers that took the field that afternoon, but he can probably tell you what kind of ballplayer their fathers & grandfathers were.
The ceremony was part of our yearly Funfest celebration. There was food, drink, music, and fun for the kids. After the ball game, there were fireworks.