Remembering Bob Cerv in Weston

Published: May. 27, 2020 at 12:08 PM CDT
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A memorial to a famous baseball player who was a native Nebraskan is just one of the reasons why you might want to pay a visit to the community of Weston.

Bob Cerv was quite the athlete. "Bob ended up being a pretty important person in the baseball world," memorial caretaker Curtis Havelka said. "He played for the Yankees, and for the Kansas City Athletics, too."

Havelka says Bob started out in Weston, and was an altar for boy a while. "He grew up about 3 or 4 miles west of Weston," Havelka said. "When he got out of high school, the war was going on and he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. His ship got hit by a kamikaze plane. The plane that hit the ship, hit near his position, and he was the only one to survive out of five people in his area. That was because he had bent down to pick up a shell he was going to put in the artillery gun."

Cerv was a walk-on for the University of Nebraska basketball team, and he also played baseball. Turns out he was a four-year letter winner in both sports. He's the only person to hold that record at the University. When he went to the major leagues in baseball, his roommates and colleagues were the likes of Roger Maris, and Mickey Mantle when he played for the New York Yankees. In 1957, he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics. By 1958, he was leading the nation in home runs and batting averages. In July, during a mishap at home plate, he broke his jaw. He didn't want to quit playing, and wanted to maintain his batting record, so he went back to play three days later, and gave himself liquid nourishment through a straw and a gap between some of his teeth. Later in the season, he was recognized by President Truman for his determination to not let anything stop him.

Local residents are hoping people will come to Weston to learn more about the drive and determination of Bob Cerv. Families can view the memorial and learn more about him at the ball park. But there are also some other attractions in Weston, including two restaurants. They are the Ponderosa Saloon & Opera House, and Rumors Tavern. There you can get good food, including great burgers and pizzas.

"One last thing," Havelka said. "I would like to encourage everyone to sign their name at the registration stand at the Bob Cerv Memorial. When you come please sign in."