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Hancock dedicates Driving Park after Merv Klemett

The late Merv Klemett was honored Thursday by the City of Hancock, which renamed the Driving Park after him. Present were his wife Marlene, son Paul, and daughters Kathy and Christine. (Paul Peterson/For the Gazette)

HANCOCK — For the more than seven decades he was involved in local sports, the late Merv Klemett was always the man in the right spot.

Klemett was honored Thursday night by the City of Hancock, which dedicated the Driving Park ball diamond in his name.

Klemett’s son, Paul, remembered his father being at the park practically every day in the summer.

“Whether it was to get the field ready, get a lineup card ready or just to warm up, he was there. I used to wonder sometimes why he was always there, but it was because he loved the game of baseball — and sports — so much.”

Approximately 40 people were on hand at the Chalet Room of the park for a short program.

Included were members of the Klemett family, several former players and State Rep. Greg Markkanen.

“Merv (Klemett) was the kind of guy we find in the U.P.,” Markkanen said. “Always there and always ready to help out.”

Hancock officials Deb Mann, John Haussler and mayor Paul LaBine were also on hand.

Klemett was a player, manager, umpire, statistician during his years.

He won five Twilight League batting titles, batting between .423 and .512.

His Bancroft teams won 14 league titles and mentored many young players.

His wife, Marlene, was present with son Paul and daugters Kathy and Christine. Two other sons James and Roger preceded him in death.

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