Part 1 of Herb Ruby and Ruby Field - Resetting a local gem to mark Ruby Field
September 20th, 2007
Friday night football is one of my fondest childhood memories. For entertainment and getting together outside in the fresh air with your family, friends and neighbors there is hardly anything better. As a community builder, sports teams and sporting events are a great democratizer. It’s folks from all walks in life and fellow community members that you wouldn’t meet if it weren’t for sports
It’s hot dogs and French fires, family and good friends and you can get in touch with your feelings and scream to your heart’s content. Call it family primal scream therapy.
Sports for young adults are a great equalizer. If your child is willing to work hard, stay disciplined, have a goal, and stay off of drugs and alcohol, everybody benefits and everyone can learn to understand the positives that come from achieving. It is inspiring to witness these young adults come together, play their hearts out and learn the value of teamwork. See:
Friends and family gathered at the rededication of the “Ruby Field” sign at the
My September 19th, 2007 Westminster Eagle column is the “rededication” of the “Ruby Field” sign under the scoreboard at the Westminster High School football field right before the Westminster – Francis Scott Key football game on Friday, Sept. 7.
September 19, 2007 by
I had the pleasure to attend the “rededication” of the “Ruby Field” sign under the scoreboard at the
A gathering of friends and family of the late Coach Herb Ruby were in attendance. In the tradition of Coach Ruby it appears the sign rededication was the result of many folks working together as a team.
It got downright humorous as everyone interviewed gave the credit for the effort to someone else. This is only fitting as Coach Ruby was well known for putting the athletes, the team, and the community above himself and abhorred having attention drawn to him individually.
It wasn’t a big splashy affair. It was small group of folks who gathered to pay their respects. A few stories were traded back and forth – in somewhat hushed tones. A picture was taken and everyone went about their business.
Coach Ruby would’ve approved.
Over the roar of the pre-game excitement from the large crowd, the football team warming-up, the cheerleaders and the band practicing, my conversation with Carroll County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chuck Ecker and (my high school football coach,) Jim Head turned to the sign and the history of “Ruby Field.”
When the “new” Westminster High School (WHS) opened in the fall of 1971, the sign did not accompany the football field moving from its former location on
No one interviewed for this column seems to know why. It just didn’t happen. Besides, many of us in the community called the “new” field at the “new” high school “Ruby Field” anyway. It’s an honor and tribute to a great Carrollinian that remains in our hearts; a community covenant that certainly was not broken for the lack of a physical sign.
Dr. Ecker explained that in the spring of 1964, the Board of Education decided to name the football field at the old WHS, (where I graduated in 1971 and played football from 1968 – 1970,) Samuel M. Jenness field. Mr. Jenness was, at the time, the superintendent of
However a movement in the community quickly developed, which was supported by Mr. Jenness that the field ought to be named “Ruby Field.” It was “renamed” Ruby Field in the fall of 1964.
1957 Westminster High graduate Coach Head, former schools superintendent Ed Shilling, a 1958 WHS grad, and 1949 WHS grad Coach Earl Hersh had a series of 4 meetings with Dr. Ecker (WHS class of 1945) in recent months about moving the sign. Dr. Ecker subsequently looked into the minutes and found that the name of the field didn’t specify a particular address, just the
Dr. Ecker and Coach Head said there “were happy to see it moved… a fitting memorial.” The sign “should’ve been moved when the field moved was moved” years ago, remarked Dr. Ecker.
Later, as I watched the game, a spectator come over and asked, “Who is Ruby?”
I’ll bet many readers are wondering the same thing. Moreover, it is only fitting and appropriate that the question was posed in the present tense. Coach Herb Ruby passed away in April 1990 and yet his legacy is alive in our community now - more than ever.
And this is where we’ll pick up the story of Coach Herb Ruby next week, after the halftime show. For now let’s enjoy the marching band.
For the latest in Carroll County Sports coverage, read Steve Jones in the Westminster Eagle