Honoring Frank

DeRon Talley
Parish President Tommy Martinez and Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan cut the ribbon to open the Frank Sotile Jr. Pavilion with daughter Kathleen Sotile Bagala Sunday.

Ascension Parish and the city of Donaldsonville elected officials dedicated a pavilion to Frank Sotile, Jr. Sunday in honor of the dedication Sotile had for baseball and teaching thousands of kids the game of it. The Mayor of Donaldsonville, Leroy Sullivan, Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez and Sotile's only living child, Kathleen Sotile Bagala had the honors of cutting the ribbon to officially open it.

George Rodeillat served as the Master of Ceremony for the event, and it started with an opening prayer by Donaldsonville City Councilman Rev. Charles Brown.

During the program, many came to the microphone and talked about how Frank Sotile, impacted the city and their own lives through the teachings of baseball.

Sotile died in July of 2003, but is still being remembered for the impact he has left. Bagala was honored to have her father's name hoisted above the pavilion and him honored in this way. Bagala said she is very proud to say she's his daughter.

"It's such an honor, almost unexplainable," Bagala said. "I know he's looking down from heaven and s so proud. It's very emotional."

Donaldsonville's Mayor Sullivan also had the opportunity to speak about Sotlile, as did Ascension Parish President Martinez. Martinez remembers playing for Sotile as a youth and Sullivan said when he became mayor, he made some changes to the baseball league to appease Sotile. Sullivan said he's sure Sotile is happy where he is because he is in peace and has "the greatest pavilion of all because it's made of gold."

Martinez said deciding to dedicate the pavilion to Sotile was probably the easiest thing he's had to decide on while in office.

There were several members from the Sotile family who attended the ceremony and watched the pavilion be dedicated to a loved one.