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Beloved McLean Little League Coach Dies

Robert Hampton a pillar of Little League

Dick Rosenbaum, former president of McLean Little League, sent us the sad news that Robert "Bob" Hampton, a long-time volunteer at McLean Little League, died Tuesday. Hampton was 91.

Rosenbaum wrote, McLean Little League field #1 is named in honor of Hampton, a volunteer coach, manager and historian for the league for nearly 50 years. 

Hampton was holding hands with his wife, Ruth, and surrounded by family when he passed away.

Hampton loved baseball. He coached and managed for many years at  McLean Little League and always had time to spend time with individual  children to teach them out to be a better baseball player.

Following each season, the baseball managers select players to  receive the Bob Hampton Most Improved Player award. The award is  presented to the baseball players whose spirit and determination in  playing the game and the most improvement over the season.

Hampton could often be seen at the McLean fields wearing his beloved Boston Red Sox cap.

He was also very active in the McLean community. Besides his   baseball commitment, he was probably best known for planting trees. The   trees were planted throughout the community at local schools, including   McLean High School and the McLean Little League fields. 

Hampton will be remembered for his contribution to the children of  McLean, his devotion to his family and to McLean Little League.  

Hampton was raised near Galax, Va., near the North Carolina border. His mother, who taught in a one-room  schoolhouse, would take the 4-year-old Hampton with her and let him sit  in the classroom. As a result, he was a fourth-grader at age 6, according to a profile of him that appeared in the Connection newspaper in 2009.

He  graduated from Galax High School in 1935, spent a year with his  grandparents, and then worked with his uncle for another year. Hampton  then attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute from 1937 to 1941, the Connection story said.

During World War II, Hampton served in the Navy, including time on a destroyer in the Atlantic protecting convoys that were a lifeline to England. Protecting convoys in the Atlantic was some of the most dangerous duty in World War II, the story said.

During the war he met Ruth Rosenbeck in 1943, near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and they were married, the Connection reported.

They lived in McLean for more than 40 years.

A viewing will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, July  30, at the Murphy Funeral Home, 1102 West Broad St., Falls Church. A  memorial service will be held 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 31, at the Old Stone  Schoolhouse in Hillsboro, W.Va. The burial service at Hillsboro  cemetery is for family only.

Annelle Johnson July 28, 2011 at 03:29 PM
We're a family whose children, son and daughter, played McLean Little League baseball and softball until they "graduated" from the program. The fields on Westmoreland Street were our second home, and it was a treat at the beginning of each spring season to see Mr. Hampton as he visited and commented on the facility and field improvements, chatted with the families and players who were at the games, and clearly enjoyed his role as a founding father of the program. We miss our MLL days, and know that all will miss Mr. Hampton.
D July 28, 2011 at 09:47 PM
I met Mr. Hampton in 1974. He showed true love for baseball and every kid who coached, or coached against. All he wanted was to teach the game to us and showed his passion on a daily basis. When I coached at McLean in the 90's, he was there to continue giving tips, teaching, asking questions, and learning. The McLean community has lost a great man that was all about giving and not receiving. We can all learn from him. Thank you Mr. Hampton and I know you have your nine all together and are ready for another game.
Ron Shafer July 29, 2011 at 05:23 PM
Bob Hampton was Mr. Baseball in McLean. He also was a great husband, father and grandfather. Bob still could get as excited as a kid when he talked about the time his hero Ted Williams invited him into Ted's house to talk hitting; until Ted reminded him, Bob was so excited that he forgot that his wife, Ruth, was still sitting in the car outside. Bob Hampton will be missed but he always will be remember as a major part of McLean Little League History. -- Ron Shafer in Williamsburg, author of The History of the McLean Little League.
Dave Roffman August 02, 2011 at 03:03 PM
These are the saddest of possible words, Bob Hampton, beloved Little Leauge coach, has died. For over 50 years, Bob Hampton coached, counseled, cheered on Little Leaguers, first in Vienna, Va. then McLean Little League on Westmoreland. His legacy to Northern Virginia baseball is unheralded. He was Mr. Baseball to so many of us who coached, to so many boys and girls who played on baseball diamonds in McLean. Everyone knew Bob Hampton. Bob helped me coach the 1995 American League and City Tournament championship team to titles. He worked with my pitchers, teaching them the nuances of throwing various pitches and how to get the right mindset before each game. I was fortunate to be his and Ruth's friend these past 25 years. I recall attending his 50th wedding anniversary and remember the love they both received from family and friends. People should always remember when they go the Little League park on Westmoreland, that every tree there was planted by Bob Hampton. Field Number Two was named after him. Hopefully they are flying the flag at half mast in his honor. You will be missed Bob Hampton. You will never be forgotten.
Eva Sonda December 13, 2012 at 01:41 AM
It's been well over a year now since my grandfathers' passing...I simply came to this page to thankfully reread the lovely comments friends shared as I remember his beautiful soul and pray for his continual growth in all the worlds of God. LOVE you grandpa!!! ;)

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