Local legend honored by WTBA with memorial

By on July 28, 2016
Members of Ellie Kreider’s family and officers of the Warwick Travel Baseball Association pose with a  memorial which was dedicated to Kreider at the Warwick Township’s Midget-Midget field on June 29.  Shown here are (front row, left to right) Michael Kreider, Eric Rehm and WTBA officers Eric Martin and  Jamie Weachter; (back, l-r) Jeremy Rehm, WTBA president Todd Shertzer, Sandy and Gary Rehm, and  WTBA officers Dana Clark and Matt Burr.

Members of Ellie Kreider’s family and officers of the Warwick Travel Baseball Association pose with a
memorial which was dedicated to Kreider at the Warwick Township’s Midget-Midget field on June 29.
Shown here are (front row, left to right) Michael Kreider, Eric Rehm and WTBA officers Eric Martin and
Jamie Weachter; (back, l-r) Jeremy Rehm, WTBA president Todd Shertzer, Sandy and Gary Rehm, and
WTBA officers Dana Clark and Matt Burr.

In the same spot where Elwood “Ellie” Kreider watched so many youth baseball games now stands a permanent memorial.

Just behind the backstop at the Warwick Township building’s Midget-Midget field, officers in the Warwick Travel Baseball Association dedicated a stone monument on June 29 honoring Kreider, a local baseball legend who passed away in mid-February.

Inscribed on the plaque are the words, “In memory of  Elwood E. ‘Ellie’ Kreider, for his tireless dedication to youth baseball. His 35 year commitment to the Warwick Phillies, Lititz Odd Fellows and Warwick Travel Baseball is the inspiration for the organization’s continued pursuit of excellence. His spirit and devotion will not be forgotten. Board of Directors, Warwick Travel Baseball Association, June 29, 2016.”

Among those attending the ceremony were Ellie’s son Michael Kreider, daughter Sandy Rehm and her husband, Gary, and two grand-children, Eric and Jeremy Rehm.

“(Dedicating the memorial was important) for a couple of reasons,” said WTBA president Todd Shertzer. “One, anytime you have an individual who had dedicated so much of his time to the community in a sport that we all are very passionate about, it’s just nice way to give back to him and his family. And then the second reason is, Ellie was so instrumental in the Warwick Phillies and Lititz Odd Fellows which both fall under our umbrella, WTBA. We wanted to pay remembrance to his dedication.”

Kreider’s love for baseball was clearly evident. He was the first from Lititz to sign a professional contract, getting tryouts with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies and Brooklyn Dodgers, then signing contracts with the Dodgers and Phillies.

An Army veteran and a beloved long-time local coach, Kreider led the Warwick Phillies and Lititz Odd Fellows for more than 35 years.

“How the idea came up (for a stone monument), Dana Clark (WTBA treasurer) had thrown out the idea at our one board meeting and when we learned of Ellie’s death, we all spent a few moments talking about him because we all had personal interactions with him as players,” Shertzer said.

Prior to proceeding with the project, the WTBA received the green light from Warwick Township.

On the night of the ceremony, prior to a Warwick Phillies’ LNP Qualifier game against Mountville, members of the Lititz VFW served as the color guard, as players from both teams stood along the base lines for the national anthem.

Eric Rehm then threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

“It was nice to have so many of (Ellie’s) family members there and the community,” Shertzer said. “The VFW was very happy to be the color guard since he was a Korean War veteran.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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