A 90th birthday party at the ballpark

Mary Hiegel of Conway was “Loving LIFE” in the 501 at the Arkansas Travelers game on July 28 as she celebrated her 90th birthday.

Her family enjoyed a buffet on the party deck and suite as she threw out the first pitch of the night with the help of her great-grandson, Owen Welch.

“One of the greatest moments of the night, other than throwing out the first pitch, was when we all sang ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game,’ one of her favorite songs,” said  granddaughter Laura Hiegel-Williams, adding that Mary has always loved baseball and enjoyed playing with the neighborhood kids.

Born a daughter of Tony and Annie Rossi in Little Rock, Mary has one sister, Pat Woodson, who lives in Dardanelle. Mary graduated from St. Joseph School in 1945 and married Al Hiegel in 1947.

Mary never misses any of her grandchildren’s home games and is a big sports fan.

Mary Hiegel of Conway was “Loving LIFE” celebrating her birthday surrounded by family at Dickey-Stephens Park.

She keeps stats on her three children (Phil Hiegel, Jerry Hiegel and Mary Ann Tipton), her 14 grandkids and 29 great-grandkids games for a total of 62 (including in-laws). She cuts out every state and local newspaper clipping on their games for their scrapbooks. She has been to 99 gyms in the state.

Mary has been to every state in the U.S. and six continents.

Her favorite teams are the Conway- St. Joe Bulldogs, Cardinals, Cubs and Reds, but her all-time favorite is the Dodgers.

“She made us trick or treat earlier than usual one year because the World Series was on,” said Laura. “She taught us to dribble between our legs but her greatest love, other than Al (of 75 years) is baseball and family.”