Longtime Whatcom County youth sports pioneer Harry “Hub” DeJong died on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the age of 87.
The Whatcom County All-Star Baseball Tournament he helped start 43 ago has carried his name in recent years to honor his many contributions to youth athletics in the area.
“He was a huge part of Whatcom County and Washington state Babe Ruth baseball for sure,” Fellow youth sports coach and close friend Jerry Smoot wrote in an email on Saturday.
DeJong was an LTI truck driver for 40 years and lived all but three months of his life in Lynden, according to his bio from when he was inducted into the Lynden High School Athletic Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class in 2008.
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He played basketball and baseball and ran track for the Lions and began organizing youth sports approximately 52 years ago, when his oldest child, Brad, reached competition age. He worked to help expand Lynden Youth Sports from just baseball and basketball for boys to offering volleyball, softball, soccer and football for both boys and girls.
He was a fixture at Lynden High School events as a volunteer and served as the Cal Ripken Baseball State Commissioner for 11 years.
According to his Hall of Fame bio, DeJong pushed the Lynden city council for more sports facilities, including Bender Fields, and he was a recipient of the Northwest Interscholastic Activities Association’s Dave DuVall Award for meritorious service in 1995.
Funeral arrangements for DeJong are pending.
Hole-in-one: Rick Jansen aced the fourth hole at Lake Padden Golf Course on Wednesday, Sept. 23. It was the third hole-in-one of his career and his second on that hole.