• 86°
franklin county times

Hal Kirby Jr.: Young man’s death spurs naming of ballfields

PROGRESS 2023: What’s In A Name

Look back through the pages of history, and the name Hal Kirby is prominent at every turn. Chamber of Commerce president. Probate judge. Radio DJ. Agriculture Coliseum board member. The list goes on.

This is not, however, the man for whom the Hal Kirby Jr. Park is named. These fields, located on Underwood Road, are named for the elder Kirby’s son, who died from an illness in grade school.

“This fields have been named Hal Kirby Jr. for as long as I can remember,” said Jackie Bradford. Bradford was a classmate of the younger Kirby’s, and though he said he can’t recall exactly when Kirby Jr. passed away, he thinks it would have been when they were in sixth or seventh grade.

“Those fields have been here forever,” said Bradford, who became Parks & Rec director in 1976. “I played Little League over there.”

Of course, over the years the fields have been renovated, and a press box and concession stand have joined what were once modest amenities. In 2015 the city received a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant to refurbish the park, which was severely damaged by flooding. The grant brought new fencing, signage, walkways and a multi-use building to accommodate the concession stand, restrooms and press box at the park.

“I don’t live far away from the four-lane, and I go by there a lot going to town,” Bradford said. “It means a lot to see his name there because he was a friend and a classmate. I think he would be proud to see his name on the concession building, all lit up.”

Current Parks & Rec director Donnie Flanagan said the Kirby fields are key to his department being able to offer adequate facilities when it comes to baseball, softball and T-ball seasons. Softball and baseball players might be found at any time throwing or hitting at Kirby, which is left open for community use when games aren’t scheduled.

“Having Hal Kirby with three fields really helps us. If we just had one small field, it would take too much to run a T-ball league,” Flanagan noted.

Franklin County

RPD, FCSO raise funds through softball game

Franklin County

Tharptown rocketry team blasts into first place in nation 

News

US-43 traffic lights in front of Walmart malfunctioning

News

Ivey announces $500,000 grant to improve Red Bay water lines

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Eric Reason

News

Community Spirit Bank welcomes new employee

News

Pilgrim’s sponsors Russellville Public Library summer reading program

Franklin County

First ‘Canada Phil’ visits Phil Campbell, adds sign to post

Features

National scholarship propels one Russellville student into Ivy League

Belgreen

Belgreen presents ‘Beauty and the Beast’

News

RCS Education Foundation holds annual banquet

Franklin County

Partnership Banquet highlights Franklin County accomplishments

News

50th Phil joins PC signpost

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Jerry Fancher

News

RHS ranks 21/386 for Alabama high schools in U.S. News & World Report

News

RHS FLBA students compete at state

Galleries

RMS students perform ‘Aladdin’

Franklin County

PHOTOS: NWSCC Phil Campbell campus presents ‘Shrek the Musical’

News

Russellville Main Street welcomes new executive director

News

BTCPA announces final production of season

News

Wynette Grammy finds home at Red Bay Museum

Franklin County

Northwest Shoals receives $1.3M to enhance rural healthcare education

Galleries

PHOTOS: RHS Musical Theatre presents ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Franklin County

Northwest Regional Library announces audiobooks by mail program

x