Dozens Pay Tribute to Huntington Baseball Coach by Promoting 811

Published 04/28 2014 11:19AM

Updated 04/28 2014 11:30AM

It's that time of year where people are planting flowers or renovating their home in time for summer.  Here in the Hoosier State, it's the law to call 811 before you start any diffing because of potentially dangerous electric and gas lines underground.

Dozens of people in the Huntington area are promoting that service while also paying tribute to a local baseball coach who died in a gas line explosion.

Digging and baseball don't usually go together but it does at Homier Field in Huntington.

"He loved coaching baseball.  He really liked watching me and my wife play softball.  He was a very well liked guy in the community."

He was Alan Dalrymple.  His son Brandon lives to tell his story.

"Anything we can do to help a family experience what we have."

Baseball represents where Alan spent most of his time as a little league coach and the statewide "Call Before You Dig" service, to show his tragic death in hopes of preventing it from happening to others.

"My father was killed in an accident that was a result of someone else not calling before they dug.  He responded to a gas leak call and was killed in a home explosion."

"Anytime you start digging you need to know what's in the ground."

Chuck Muller is the Director of Public Affairs for 811.  He says this time of year is especially important to promote the free service.

"We just came off of a horrendous winter, the worst winter in memory and everybody is itching to get out there and start doing their digging."

811 is available 24/7.  When you call, someone will place locators or these colorful flags that each represent what's below the ground.  It's okay to dig when you have a clear flag but the orange flag says there is a cable line that could be damaged if you're not careful while digging.

Dalrymple has been holding these memorial games every year since his father's death in 2006.

"It's a great honor that we still get people who want to come out and play."

It's his way of continuing the mark Alan left on the Huntington community.

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