The city of Round Rock honored Gail "Big Boy" Hester on April 11, approving a resolution to rename the historic "Bluffs" baseball field in Memorial Park near downtown to Big Boy Hester Family Field.

“I am honored to have met you; you are a true pillar of our community,” Place 4 City Council member Frank Ortega said. “May your name last forever in our city. Thank you so much for who you are.”

Who it’s for?

Hester, who opened Hester's Automotive in 1960, is known for his work as a member on the Round Rock Chamber in helping to bring Dell Diamond and the Round Rock Express to the city. Including being presented with the city’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, the 85-year-old has continuously been recognized for his years of work with the chamber and support of Round Rock’s business community.

Michelle Ly, downtown business owner and Place 1 City Council member, remarked on the lasting legacy and profound respect that Hester has instilled among emerging business owners throughout the city.

“In addition to everything you've done, the small business community really looks up to you,” Ly said. “It's always been a goal of mine to earn your [Big Boy Hester Small Business of the Year] award because your name holds that kind of honor. Thank you for being a role model to small businesses.”

Among his various contributions to local organizations, Hester has been a “fervent supporter” of the YMCA, Round Rock Serving Center and Play for all Abilities Park, according to city documents.

Big Boy's endeavors, such as the yearly Big Boy Hester Fishing Trip and his annual Christmas party, have generated more than $300,000 for local charities.

Hester said his “thing” is working behind the scenes—using his relationships and connections to help support and improve Round Rock, according to a previous interview with Community Impact.

Some context

The Hester family has been involved in the city of Round Rock for generations, even being honored by the city as local legends in 2002.

Elmer Hester, born in Round Rock in 1908, and his wife, Ruby, were key business leaders in the area, according to city documents. The couple owned and operated Peterson’s Meat Market and together, with their five children, owned as many as seven local businesses.

Dale Hester, Big Boy’s brother, served on City Council from 1965-69 and as mayor until 1973. Lawrence “Hank” Hester, another of Big Boy’s brothers, served two terms on City Council, between 1960-62, and from 1979-81.

Hesters Crossing, a roadway in Round Rock, is named for the family.

Looking back, looking ahead

Big Boy Hester has been known for hosting unforgettable parties at his auto repair shop, hosting world famous fiddler Johnny Gimble, and baseball greats Nolan Ryan, Jackie Moore and Burt Hooten, according to the body shop’s website.

A self-described baseball fanatic, Hester played on the city’s first Little League Baseball team when he was just 12 years old.

“Over 70 years ago, Big Boy took the mound at this field in a Babe Ruth-style uniform and represented the city against teams from Beyersville, Thrall, Leander, Pflugerville and Granger, using wooden bats and a limited supply of baseballs,” city documents state.

There will be a formal ceremony honoring Hester on July 20 at the field itself, which is currently undergoing renovations.