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Bartlesville renames baseball field for athletic director battling cancer

Posted at 5:59 PM, Oct 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-21 19:37:36-04

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — The Bartlesville community is coming together to support one of their own in their time of need.

Bartlesville Public Schools athletic director Spence Rigdon is well-known in the Bartlesville community.

"He's one of the special ones," said Terry Hughes, BPS assistant athletic director. "He becomes a part of your family."

Rigdon grew up playing sports in Bartlesville. He went on to play baseball at Pittsburgh State in Kansas. He returned to his hometown to coach, teach and raise his family. Rigdon coached the Bruin baseball team for 13 years before becoming the athletic director for the last two.

"He coached more than that," Hughes said. "He coached the kids. He always wanted to coach more than just the outcome of baseball. And so that's what he did. And that's why he's deserving of such an honor like this because he's about more than just the sport. He's about their lives."

The school district is honoring Rigdon as he battles stage 4 colon cancer. At Monday night's school board meeting, they voted to name the baseball field, Rigdon Field.

"Doenges stadium and baseball is a big part of Spence," said Chuck McCauley, superintendent of Bartlesville Public Schools. "And this is something I always thought that we would want to do. I wish it were something that we would be doing at the end of his career in terms of his retirement down the road. I'm just so pleased that we'll be able to leave his name on the field to leave that lasting legacy for him and his family."

Rigdon was diagnosed with colon cancer 3 and 1/2 years ago. After many surgeries and treatments, he is now in hospice care. No, the place that was such a big part of his life, will carry his name as a reminder of the impact he's made.

"Spence's legacy is always going to be directly tied to the people and how he was related to them," Hughes said. "He always sought out what was best for everybody. And when he found that he was very adamant about you doing that, not because it was his idea.

Because he thought you could impact other people. The big outcome of all that is going to be that Spence was somebody special in their lives that have helped them towards whatever goals they wanted to get to."

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the Rigdon family. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.

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