La Feria News

Legacy of the A.J. Wilson Baseball Field

City officials, Pony League team members, and loyal friends join the Wilson family for the dedication ceremony.

Memory of Police Chief Wilson Honored

Bill Keltner

The city of La Feria honored the memory of one of its pioneer families with a beautiful, regulation baseball diamond and playing field dedicated to A. J. Wilson, who served as La Feria Police Chief from the early1960s-to early 1970s. Many long-time local citizens will recall his years of service to the community.

Retired Police Chief Wilson died in 1994. His wife, Doris, just passed away on July 27, 2016. The park has special meaning for their descendents who were present at the dedication ceremony arranged for by the city.

To honor the legacy of A.J. Wilson and the baseball park named in his honor, The city of La Feria sponsored a brief ceremony at the home plate position of the baseball diamond to recognize the Wilson family and their contribution to the community. Descendents of Police chief Wilson and his wife were present for the honoring ceremony. They were Tommy Wilson, a son and his wife: Debbie. Melanie Machem, a granddaughter, and Kathy Hilburn, a daughter of A. J. Wilson. (Larry Wilson, another son, was unable to attend).

Also honored were Pony League Baseball team coach Ruben Rosales and his son Ryan, a player on the team. The coach said his baseball team proudly calls the park their home.

During the ceremony, daughter Kathy Hilburn thanked all the contributors for their many donations to pay for the two signs identifying the park. “So many came in,” she said that “excess money is going to refurbish the public restrooms.”

Kathy and Tommy made a very personal expression of gratitude on behalf of the Wilson legacy: She said, “The family wishes to thank the City of La Feria for their assistance and cooperation in the dedication of the new signs for the A. J. Wilson Field. This was made possible through the donations made to the city in lieu of flowers at the time of our mother’s passing last year. Our mother and father loved the youth of La Feria and worked tirelessly on their behalf, to ensure they had a safe place to play ball and to develop physically and mentally.”

For generations to come, this lovely park will properly memorialize the contribution of the Wilson family to the citizens of La Feria.

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