Faulk inducted into Babe Ruth Hall of Fame
Abbeville native Jesse Faulk has given most of his life to Babe Ruth baseball.
Faulk’s work has not gone unnoticed. Babe Ruth baseball honored Faulk, who has coached for the youth baseball league since 1966, by inducting him into its Southwest Regional Hall of Fame.
“It feels great,” Faulk said. “This is a pretty big honor.
“I was just kind of floored when I got the news.”
Faulk began coaching Babe Ruth baseball when he was 19 years old.
“One of the coaches fell ill,” Faulk said. “Someone asked me if I would step in and I said yes.”
That “Yes” has led to a lifetime of memories and enjoyment for Faulk, who served on the Babe Ruth Board for six years and spent one year as president of A.A. Comeaux while still coaching. Current A.A. Comeaux head, Tommy Picard, actually played for Faulk. Faulk said Picard has been a great help during his years of coaching.
Faulk has put a great deal into those years. It has never been a burden, not even close.
“This is something that I love,” Faulk said. “I could do this year round.”
If Faulk did coach 12 months a year, he would work with that many more players. How many players has Faulk coached, anyway?
“Wow,” Faulk said as he attempted to find an estimate on the amount of players he has coached. “I couldn’t even give a number because there have been so many.”
Whatever the number actually is, Faulk said each player over the years has had an impact on him.
“That is the thing I take away most from my time with (Babe Ruth),” Faulk said. “There is no doubt about that.”
There is also no doubt that Faulk has built quite a resumé during his 43 years in Babe Ruth. In 1986, Faulk led a team that won a 16-year-old State title. He took a three-year hiatus from Babe Ruth from 1988 to ‘91. During that time he coached American Legion baseball. With Legion, Faulk captured four district titles and one state title.
He returned to Babe Ruth in 1992. He started coaching Babe Ruth girls in 1996, when his oldest daughter, Lindsay, began playing. With the girls, Faulk won a state and regional title in 1999. He coached a 16-year-old girls team in 2001 during a Babe Ruth World Series. Abbeville played host to that event. Faulk won a state and regional title in 1998 with a 15-year-old boys team.
With the teams Faulk has coached and all those teams accomplished under him, it would be understandable if the coach had a difficult time finding one memory that stands out. That would be the case if not for what happened in 1995, when Faulk led a group of 12-year-olds to a Babe Ruth World Series title in Abbeville.
“That was the greatest feeling,” Faulk said. “I have had a lot of great moments. To be the first team to win it in Abbeville was a great feeling.
“Not too many people have a chance to do that.”
Faulk’s coaching career reaches beyond Babe Ruth. In 2000, Faulk started the first softball program at Vermilion Catholic. Since that time, the Lady Eagles have won four district titles and reached the state tournament. Faulk has also helped produce multiple college players.
Faulk has put a good part of his life into coaching young players. Babe Ruth Baseball recognized his effort. Not that Faulk needed the honors.
“I am not out there for things like that,” Faulk said. “This is about the kids and I am glad to be a part of it. But I am very honored to be in the Hall of Fame.”
“I’m going to cherish this. Next to ‘95, this one of my most cherished moments.