Alice Roepke with her dad, George Olson, at a Kansas City Royals game in May 2014.

Just as the catchy jingle “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet” defined an All-American culture when I grew up in the 1970s, it also capsulizes some of the best memories of my father, George Olson. Let’s talk baseball. 

Dad, who was born in 1922 in the Swede Settlement between Axtell and Vermillion, was the seventh of nine children. Annual Sunday School picnics hosted by Salem Lutheran Church and recess at his one-room country school introduced him to what he called “cow pasture baseball,” and his love of the game began.