He has a World Series championship and now he has his own day.
Nov. 4, 2016 is officially Lester Strode Day in the city of McMinnville. Mayor Jimmy Haley made the proclamation Friday at City Hall while surrounded by Strode family members young and old.
Strode is a McMinnville native who got his start playing baseball here at the Civic Center. He graduated with the WCHS class of 1976. He won the World Series last Wednesday as the bullpen coach for the Chicago Cubs.
“Baseball was always his life,” said his sister, Vivian Vaughn. “Growing up, it was all baseball all the time.”
Several Strode family members were given a chance to speak. His aunt, Loretta Evans, said it’s quite an accomplishment when you can make your entire family proud.
“There’s always a way you can climb higher, and higher, and higher,” said Evans. “If you can’t be the best, be the best that you can be. The great thing about Lester is no matter how far he gets, he never forgets home. Don’t ever forget where you came from because in the end, that’s what you have to fall back on.”
His brother Curtis said he wished Lester could have been in attendance to receive the proclamation, but it was the same day the Cubs were being treated to a massive parade in Chicago.
“We’d like to say thank you and we’re proud to be native McMinnvillians,” said Curtis.
Mayor Haley revealed he would like Lester to take part in one more parade, that being the annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 3. Haley said he has invited Lester to attend as grand marshal.
“Lester is someone who always set his ambitions very, very high,” said Haley. “It’s a great day in McMinnville when we can honor one of our own, a hometown hero. He makes us proud.”