Gale Armbrister loved his family, his country and baseball.
Tuesday, that trifecta returned those feelings in a fitting manner.
Prior to the first pitch of this spring's first Lawrence High-Free State baseball showdown, a 20-minute ceremony was held at Ice Field to dedicate the Gale Armbrister Scoreboard.
The new $22,000 electronic toteboard came to fruition during the last eight months as a way to honor Armbrister, a local baseball institution who died in August from a rare brain disorder.
"It's only appropriate that my dad would be recognized in a place like this," Matt Armbrister, who flew in from Raleigh, N.C., said during his remarks to the overflow crowd.
Citing his father's many loves, he added, "This is an epicenter of where all that came together."
Armbrister's address was followed by a 21-gun salute by members of American Legion Post 14, a rendition of "Taps" and the singing of the national anthem by the Lawrence High a cappella choir.
Then, baseball took center stage, with Matt Armbrister and his brother, Jay - a Douglas County deputy sheriff - throwing ceremonial first pitches as their mother and Gale Armbrister's widow, Cheri, looked on from behind the mound.
"It was really an awesome tribute to him," said LHS baseball coach Brad Stoll, who more than once this week mentioned how Armbrister was like a second father to him. "To go out there and see his name up there every day is really special."