Baseball reunion to honor Tex Hessler
Area baseball players who played during the 1950s through 1970s will gather 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, September 23 at Warm Springs Intermediate School to honor legendary player and coach Tex Hessler.
Tex Hessler & Friends Day will be a rare opportunity to share memorabilia, pictures and memories with Hessler and friends. Attendees are encouraged to take pictures, old uniforms, hats, equipment and stories about their baseball experiences. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served.
Rick McLaughlin, one of the event's organizers, said that items collected at the reunion will be archived and turned over to the Museum of the Berkeley Springs and the Morgan County Historical Society. McLaughlin said a web site is also being planned.
Donald Ward "Tex" Hessler was born on August 30, 1930, the oldest of seven children to parents Ward and Ruth Irene Hessler of Cherry Run.
Hessler attended Berkeley Springs High School and played outfield for the Indians under Coach Jerry Calhoun. But Hessler had to quit school in the 10th grade after his father died and he had to work to support the family.
During his working years, Hessler worked at Victor Products in Berkeley Springs, Fairchild Aircraft in Hagerstown and several construction companies in the Martinsburg area. He also worked on various construction projects for the Morgan County School system.
But throughout the years, Hessler continued to be involved with baseball, first as a player and later as a coach.
Between 1946 and the mid-1950s, Hessler was a catcher on four different town teams in the Hagerstown League.
He played on the Berkeley Springs team under Coach Moon Mullens, the Cherry Run team for Coach Hap Rhoe, the Great Cacapon team for Coach Whisner and the Clear Spring team for Coach Bernie Young.
Once his playing days were over, Hessler coached the Little League Braves of Morgan County for 12 years from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. Along with Don Sheppard, he coached the Little League All-Stars to a second place finish in the West Virginia State tournament.
Hessler stopped coaching when his son Craig began playing baseball, because he didn't want to be accused of favoritism. One year Hessler did assist Coach Ercel Potter, but stipulated that he wouldn't make up the lineup as his son Craig was still playing.
These days, Hessler likes watching his grandchildren's sporting, 4-H and music events.
His grandson Scotty, now age 12, followed in his footsteps as a catcher, playing on the 11-12 year old Morgan County All Star team that went to the West Virginia State Championships. Hessler's 14 year old granddaughter Chelsea has played softball since the age of five
and is also a catcher.
Tex Hessler will be at the Warm Springs Intermediate School Sunday, September 23 to greet former players and friends as they arrive.