Say the name “Doc” Hideg almost anywhere in this country where American Legion baseball is played and someone there will know him or have heard of him.
In 21 years as the coach of Post 31, Doc had a record of 831 wins and only 279 losses. That is a winning percentage of 75%. His teams won six State Championships and produced many college and professional players. But even when his coaching days ended, his love for the kids, the game, and Brooks Stadium never went away.
Doc’s love for Brooks Stadium started with his deep friendship with, and respect for J. Polk Brooks. The two spend many days working on the field and stadium together and with that friendship and the legacy that Brooks Stadium represented, Doc could not and would not let Brooks be torn down and fade into history; so, he got busy.
With a determination that would not take no for an answer, Doc led the effort to not just save the stadium but to make it a showplace; a stadium that Paducah and the region could be proud of and did it ever work!
Through his leadership, Brooks Stadium has risen from the brink of extinction to what it is today, a beautiful setting for baseball, that has brought many major events to Paducah. These events include the Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Championship Tournament, American Legion Tournaments, a youth clinic held every year in conjunction with the OVC, Paducah Tilghman High School baseball, and many district, regional, and state high school tournaments.
Doc will be the first to tell you that nothing could have been done without the help of countless volunteers and the City, but all those who have helped, are helping today and all those who enjoy baseball in the beautiful stadium will tell you that it was Doc who saved Brooks Stadium.
So, with all of that being said, it is only fitting that the City of Paducah honor Doc for his tireless efforts to ensure quality baseball in Paducah, for his love of the young people who play, and the tremendous example that he sets. What better way to do this than by naming the playing field at Brooks Stadium, “Doc Hideg Field”. By taking this action, the City will bring together the names that mean baseball in Paducah – Brooks and Hideg.
Years may come and go, but may there always be Brooks Stadium and Doc Hideg Field.
Introduction written by Greg McKeel.