EL CENTRO, Calif. - The 2nd Annual Lefty Martin Memorial Golf Tournament on Saturday honored a man who loved baseball and kids.
Gene Martin, Lefty Martin’s son, said his father was “Instrumental in a lot of kids playing baseball down here so we wanted to put something on in his name as a memorial to him.”
Martin said about 36 golfers joined to raise money for Central Union High School kids in his father’s name.
“We’re having a little tournament to raise money for our baseball program,” Martin said.
Lefty was well known locally.
“If you’re from the valley here you would know lefty and if you played baseball, he loved baseball. He coached, he played,” Martin said.
Lefty coached local youth baseball for over 46 years.
“He was very instrumental in teaching a lot of kids, not only baseball but how to be young men,” Martin said.
Bryan Christopher said his father instilled a deep love for baseball in him as a child.
“I’ve played the game of baseball since i was a little baby. I always loved the game. It’s one of my passions,” Christopher said.
He remembers his father’s love for others.
“There wasn’t a kid or anyone out there that he didn’t think that he could help,” Christopher said.
Lefty’s grandson Benny Carter said baseball is their family’s life.
“it’s just in our bloodline. It’s a family thing. We just enjoy doing it. Baseball’s our life,” Carter said.
Bill Harberson, one of Lefty’s many friends, said baseball develops character in kids.
“The sport teaches them much more than how to play a game. It teaches them how to be a part of a team, how to be responsible, and grows them up as young men,” Harberson said.
That’s why Lefty’s work was so important.
“To help young men in sports is probably one of the most important things we can do,” Harberson concluded.