Thursday, December 03, 2009

George Kell Post Office

Today a bill was passed to name the post office in Swifton after George Kell, who was known as a famous athlete and community leader. I am pleased to see the House passage of this bill honoring George Kell, native son of Arkansas’s First Congressional District. Throughout his life, he distinguished himself as an athlete, broadcaster, and community leader. Kell passed away earlier this year at the age of 86 and it was a tremendous loss that was felt by all who loved him. I am thankful my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives joined me in keeping Kell's memory alive today by renaming this post office in his honor.

George Kell enjoyed a long career in Major League Baseball with the Athletics, Tigers, Red Sox, White Sox, and Orioles. During his 15-year playing career, Kell made the All-Star team 10 times and established himself as one of the greatest third basemen in the history of the American League. For his accomplishments, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

After his retirement from baseball, Kell returned to the Detroit Tigers organization as their TV announcer, a position he held for almost 40 years. His broadcasting career allowed him to connect with generations of new fans who were too young to ever see him play the game.

Despite all his accomplishments in baseball, George Kell was simply a good friend and neighbor to those who knew him best. Throughout his life, he kept returning to his hometown of Swifton, a place he loved like no other. He was an active and respected member of the community, even serving on the Arkansas Highway Commission for 10 years. His career gave him the opportunity to see it all, but he knew there was no place like home.

George Kell’s enduring popularity is evidenced by the fan mail he continued to receive long after his retirement. It is a fitting tribute that we name the Swifton post office, where he went regularly to correspond with his fans across the country, after this great citizen. It’s the least we can do for a friend and a native son of Arkansas.