WICHITA — John O'Brien, 81, of Inman, has been selected by Area Agencies on Aging in Kansas to be honored as Keeping Seniors in the Game!SM first pitcher on Tuesday, July 28, at the 7 p.m. feature game of the National Baseball Congress (NBC) World Series.
The 81st NBC World Series takes place at Wichita's Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Games begin Friday, July 24, and go until Sat. Aug. 8.
O'Brien is one of 16 Kansans over age 80 throughout the state selected for the honor. Keeping Seniors In the Game!SM recognizes the vitality and contributions of older Kansans and raises public awareness of Area Agencies on Aging — the national network of groups that provide unbiased answers and real help to seniors and family caregivers with the goal of helping seniors stay happy and independent in their homes.
He and his wife Pat have six children — Mike, Sister Joseph, Tom, Rozie, Peggy and Rory and 14 grandchildren.
O'Brien has always been a big baseball fan. He follows the St. Louis Cardinals daily and hopes they'll be playing in the World Series this year. One of his favorite baseball memories the Cardinals’ 2011 World Series win.
He was the school superintendent in Ingalls for 13 years before moving to Inman. He was elected mayor and served for 12 years. He has also served on the executive board for Inman's Senior Center. Since retiring in 2012, he enjoys gardening and spending time with his family.
He is a big fan of the South Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging, too. This group is based in Arkansas City and serves Reno County and nine other counties surrounding Wichita. His daughter, Rozie directs that Agency's Friendship Meals program which serves meals to seniors and family caregivers at dining centers and also provides home-delivered meals, too.
"We are very happy to work with the National Baseball Congress to recognize the important contributions that John O'Brien and other older Kansans make to our country, our hometowns and our communities," said Julie Govert Walter, Executive Director of the North Central-Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging who leads the Keeping Seniors In The Game!SM initiative.