PORTSMOUTH – The Portsmouth murals will feature new faces beginning in May 2019, announced Portsmouth Murals Inc. president Robert Morton at the Fifteenth Annual Portsmouth Murals Baseball Banquet Wednesday.
Morton made the announcement while they were in attendance as guests at the banquet that the members of the 2018 Wheelersburg Little League Softball team that won the 2018 Little League Softball World Series would be forever memorialized in mural form on the floodwalls that line the Ohio River in downtown Portsmouth.
“Being invited to the banquet was a tremendous honor,” said Dusy Salyers. manager of the team that took home the title of World Champs in Portland, Or. last August. “Especially on a night in which Gene Bennett was honored. Mr. Bennett loved Wheelersburg Little League, and Wheelersburg Little League loved him back. He was such an amazing asset to our entire community.”
Bennett was one of the four focal points among those honored at Wednesday’s banquet along with three other scouts from the Portsmouth area: Billy Doyle, Frank Rickey, and Wayne Blackburn.
Bennett’s namesake resides on the fields in Wheelersburg that Wheelersburg Little League calls their home, Gene Bennett Baseball Park. Salyers has mentioned in the past that the World Champion team visited Bennett in the hospital before he passed because of the impact he had on not just them, but all of the little league community in Wheelersburg.
“It just goes to show how much our World Series Championship means to the entire county,” said Salyers. “We have been blessed to receive so much recognition from the local media, social media, and many of the local business owners. This is just the icing on the cake, something that the girls will always be able to look at, and someday show the mural to their own children. I’d like to extend a special thank you to Mr. Bob Morton who had a big part in getting us the mural, and who has communicated a lot with me throughout the entire process.”
Painting of the murals by muralist Robert Dafford will begin in May of 2019, Morton announced at the banquet.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT