Hager, Carl - 1990
Carl Hager laid the foundation for much of the recreational activities Savannahians enjoy today. Hager’s contributions to programs and activities in the city are undeniable. He took over the City of Savannah recreation program in 1950 and started a series of improvements and renovations from which city residents still enjoy benefits.
In 1953, he was played an instrumental role in organizing Little League Baseball in the city, securing money for equipment and obtaining the use of the Coca-Cola Company diamonds for its games. Hager didn’t forget softball, expanding the sport and establishing the first slow pitch tournament for all teams in the city. In 1958, he was the key figure in founding a state-wide slow pitch tournament.
Hager worked for an organized recreational league statewide, which led to district and state championship events for youngsters. In 1959, he was honored by the State Recreational Association as “Man of the Year.”
While developing programs, Hager did not neglect the great need for facilities. Under his direction, the tennis complex in Daffin Park was built in 1950, as was the first lighted baseball diamonds in 1951.
He then started a fund-raising project to build concrete basketball courts throughout the city and set up Savannah’s first archery range in Bacon Park. Hager was also a member of the committee responsible for the construction of Memorial Stadium.
When Hager began his work for the city, the Little League has twelve teams. Upon his retirement in 1973, there were over one hundred teams for youths and seventy five adult teams participating in the city-sponsored programs.