Submitted by Stephen Boudreax, NWAMSBL League President
Former Northwest Arkansas MSBL League President Don Prim passed away peacefully on the morning of February 13, 2020. The Northwest Arkansas MSBL owes an enormous debt to Don Prim, who ran the league in the late 90’s through about 2001 before I took it over. Our young members may never understand how much work was put in during those early days to build the league and sustain it…through horrid field conditions (Grove Street!), conduct issues, hodge-podge officiating and drawing up season schedules on a legal pad in his backyard atop a keg.
Don set the league up for success despite sacrificing his own personal needs. I didn’t really “get it” until I was in his shoes and experienced the same issues which made me respect what Don did even more. Every time we met on the field, I told him “thank you” and he always looked at me with that Don Prim look as if he didn’t know what I was talking about. Don might not have been a “ringer” of a ballplayer, but he was always good for a clutch RBI. More importantly, he was always good for a smile and an attaboy. Gameday was just better when Don was at the ballpark.
I was honored to have inducted Don Prim into the inaugural NWAMSBL Hall of Fame in 2011. We all send out our prayers for his family and friends.
From his longtime teammate and friend, Eric Exner: Don brought me into the league in 1994. Don loved baseball. There were years early on where he would play 30-40 games. He would be delivering checks for umpires, and find out a team was short a player. He traveled with his gear and uniform. He was ready at a moment’s notice. He lived his life that way. He also played two times for the SoCal Blue Jays in the MSBL World Series in Arizona.
Don was always willing to offer a helping hand. The doctors originally gave him 18 months to live but God gave him 5.5 more years to play a little and to share himself with his family and friends. We will all be forever grateful for Don Prim. Baseball and humanity lost a good one.