Navasota continues to pay tribute to one of its own, whose life was lost far too soon. Family, friends, classmates and teammates gathered at Boenker Field Tuesday, March 5, for a memorial dedication in honor of Sammy Blair.
Blair, 21, a 2016 graduate from Navasota, lost his life in an all-terrain vehicle accident Dec. 14. He touched many lives throughout his lifetime, and the community is ensuring that his legacy is never forgotten.
It was a cold night, but hearts were warmed when the Lord’s Prayer was led before the dedication ceremony. A huge collaboration of volunteers helped to preserve Sammy’s memory forever at Boenker Field, where he played his favorite sport for Navasota, baseball.
The unveiling of a large, white, concrete baseball, painted with red stitching, a Navasota star and Sammy’s name and #8 on the back, was erected on a concrete pedestal in Blair’s honor by the class of 2016. The pedestal features a plaque in the shape of home plate inscribed with the words “Dedicated in memory of Sammy Blair by the class of 2016 Proverbs 3: 5-6.” Proverbs 3: 5-6 was Sammy’s favorite verse and, according to family, he followed it diligently: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
A spotlight shines on the memorial, emitting a glow similar to the effect Sammy had on everyone he met. Sammy’s parents fought back tears, and his dad encouraged the Rattler baseball players to go out and win and wished them the best of luck this season.
Zachary Nichols in his first season as Navasota’s Head Baseball Coach presented Sammy’s parents with the jersey Blair wore during his days at Navasota.
“I never had a chance to meet Sammy,” explained Nichols. “I’ve heard countless stories of how great a young man he was both on and off the field. I’m happy that we can help honor him and keep his memory alive. Seeing his parents with tears in their eyes is tough to see and I know they truly miss him”
After his passing, he was honored at Rattler Stadium with a candlelight vigil and his parents, Wayne and Dianne, were presented with his football jersey. Blair was also honored at Leroy Dreyer Field by the Blinn Buccaneer baseball program, where Sammy was enrolled and playing baseball at the time of his death. A jersey bearing his name and number was painted on the left field wall. Aside from the Rattler baseball team and Sammy’s family, the Blinn Buccaneer baseball team was on hand March 5 to participate in the Navasota dedication.
The class of 2016 thanked everyone that was able to help with the monument. MBC Management designed and constructed the base, while Navasota Concrete donated the concrete for the construction. Nikki Sullivan donated her artistic skills painting the ball. Kevin Clark with Gritex Electric provided and installed the spotlight and Dillon Hughes with A1 Rentals moved the monument to Boenker Field.
Anyone wishing to honor Blair can do so with monetary donations that will go to a scholarship fund in his name. Memorials may be sent to First National Bank of Anderson, P.O. Box 159, Anderson, TX 77830-0159. For those that desire, a complete listing of other charities is listed on the Facebook page “Sammy Blair Memorial.”