By T. Scott Boatright
Forever legendary Ruston sportswriter/executive sports editor O.K. “Buddy” Davis may have left this Earth close to four years ago now, but the man with the golden pen has never stopped touching residents of Lincoln Parish who continue to cherish their memories of him.
There have been more than a few beneficiaries of Davis’ estate since his death on July 13, 2019, at the age of 72, and one of those on Friday will add to the list carrying Davis’ name on in perpetuity as the O.K. “Buddy” Davis Ball Field will be dedicated on the grounds of the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home in Ruston.
The dedication ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Friday at the LMCH and the public is invited.
“We are honored to commemorate the legacy of Buddy Davis with our new O.K. “Buddy” Davis Memorial Ball Field,” said LMCH Vice President for Development and Public Relations Sarah Head. “Buddy’s incredible generosity made possible the much-needed improvements to our field, a space critical to the growth and healing of children in our care. His remarkable life and career will inspire and encourage the children playing on this field for generations to come.”
Davis’ estate has donated over a half-million dollars to causes dear to to him, including Louisiana Tech Athletics, the Eddie Robinson Museum at Grambling State University, the Ruston High School Alumni Association, 4 Paws Animal Rescue, the North Louisiana Military Museum and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home, to which his estate donated more than $106,000 that has been used to create his namesake ballfield.
Over his 55-year writing career based in Ruston, Davis covered everything from the Olympics in Munich, Germany, to NBA All-Star Games, Super Bowls and Final Fours down to local youth baseball and T-ball tournaments.
In the process Davis crafted tens of thousands of bylined stories and, earning well more than 100 writing awards in national, regional and statewide contests.
At least a part of Davis’ fondness for the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home came from his close personal relationship with Ruston High football coaching legend “Chick” Childress, who grew up in the LMCH.
The media room at Louisiana Tech’s Joe Aillet Stadium Press Box is also named in honor of Davis, who over the years has been named to the Louisiana Tech Sports Hall of Fame, the Grambling Legends Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Ark-La-Tex Sports Hall of Fame.
Davis earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Football Writers Association of America, and was a recipient of the Louisiana Sports Writer Association’s highest honor, the Mac Russo Award, and held a life membership from that organization.