Lincoln Park Tower renamed Hamilton Family Tower during JUCO ceremony
Jamie Hamilton look confused and out of place.
Suplizio Field is not a place where Hamilton has ever been out of place.
Holding his granddaughter, Mikayla, Hamilton was part of what he thought was an impromptu pregame ceremony Saturday before the final game of opening day of the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.
That’s when Hamilton’s confused look turned into a disbelieving smile.
“Your heart and soul has been part of this tournament and this community,” said Errol Snider, while making the introduction. “You have made us family and we thank you for that.”
A large sign was unveiled to show the Lincoln Park Tower has been named the Hamilton Family Tower.
“Humbled,” Hamilton said afterward. He then used the word four more times. “To now have my name associated with it is humbling, primarily, because of this great community.”
Hamilton, a Grand Junction native and the JUCO committee chairman since 2003, has worked tirelessly with the JUCO committee for 31 years to bring high quality junior college baseball to Grand Junction year after year.
The committee made the decision in April to honor Hamilton by adding his name to the Tower. But they kept it a secret from the man who has his hand in virtually all JUCO planning and decisions.
“I heard about this like five minutes ago,” he said with a chuckle. “You like to think as the chairman of an organization you know what’s going on and, wow, this was a well-kept secret.”
Along with his wife, Debbie, and his children, Sarah Pollard and Dane, and his granddaughter, Hamilton was genuinely surprised by the honor.
The $8.3 million Tower was completed in 2012 and Hamilton even considered selling the naming rights to the facility at one time.
But after Saturday’s ceremony, he gave credit to the volunteer committee, the community and others for the success of JUCO and construction of the Tower.
“I think anyone who does it for recognition fails in the long run,” he said. “I’ve done it because of the founders before me, (Sam) Suplizio and (Bus) Bergman and (Richard) Reimer and Jay Tolman, they had a passion for it, and they saw a passion in me. And I do have a passion for it and I love this community.”
Hamilton, 60, said his children had canceled a couple of family trips to Grand Junction this spring, and now he knows why.
“JUCO has been a big part of my family for 31 years. Having them here and my wife, and having my grand baby with me, and having friends and family there, and the committee, it’s just so humbling,” Hamilton said.