Sunday, September 29, 2013
At a sunny, breezy 83 degrees in Fulton, Friday afternoon was the perfect day for America’s pastime, but dozens of Fulton State Hospital employees and city officials weren’t at Seaman Field to play ball.
Instead, they were gathered to remember the man who built the field that had served hospital clients and city residents alike for more than 50 years.
The city and hospital unveiled a granite monument rededicating the field in honor of its namesake, Robert J. Seaman. The hospital’s business office manager from 1956-1976, Seaman oversaw a multitude of new construction projects and renovations, including the field that was originally intended for patient recreational use before it was gifted to the city in the late 1980s.
Hospital Management Assistant Jeff Stone gave history on the diamond, built sometime in the 1960s. He said that the hospital had “different clients back then” who were given leave to enter the city and use the field. After the hospital went behind fences and increased security, the field was no longer needed.
Stone also explained that Seaman’s contributions to the hospital extended far beyond the outfield. Several of the current campus facilities were built on the biggest FSH construction project in 40 years at the time, and he also oversaw the transition from a racially segregated hospital and staff to an integrated one.
“The hospital and the community have been greatly impacted by Mr. Seaman and his 20 years of service,” Stone said.
Seaman’s son, also named Robert, was there with wife Carol and sister Beverly Smart to receive a plaque from Mayor LeRoy Benton in honor of his father’s contributions.
“It’s quite an honor for dad,” Seaman said. “I thought he’d probably be forgotten by now. I’m glad to see it’s still used and maintained. He’d be proud, he worked hard for this.”
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