The Texas Wesleyan Alumni Association is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2021 O.D Bounds Award, former baseball player and community volunteer Gary Balch ’74. The O.D. Bounds award is presented to an alumnus or alumna involved in athletics who exemplifies the work, character and contributions made by the late O.D. Bounds Jr., BS ’41, a beloved Texas Wesleyan faculty member, coach, volunteer and friend.
Gary T. Balch was born in Fort Worth, Texas on Nov. 29, 1951. He attended Polytechnic High School in 1968, going on to graduate from O.D. Wyatt High School. Gary attended Texas Wesleyan from 1970-1974. Gary married his high school sweetheart, Mary Wahle in 1973, and their two sons, Marcus and Garrett, along with their wives, are Texas Wesleyan alumni.
Gary began playing baseball at age 4. While in high school at O.D. Wyatt, the team played in the state quarterfinals and Gary was named MVP for district 9-4A in 1970. Gary earned a baseball scholarship to then Texas Wesleyan College and played for four years. He achieved All-Conference status and set a fielding record of .995 in 1973. He was the recipient of the 1973 TWC 3-D Award - dedication, determination, desire.
From 1985-1999, Gary was an instrumental part of a successful fundraising event benefiting the Texas Wesleyan baseball program. The Texas Wesleyan Baseball Banquet and Memorabilia Auction raised thousands of dollars over the years. Gary also remained involved in TXWES baseball by participating in alumni games each year.
Gary has dedicated his time and talents to the local community for more than 36 years. During this time, he has volunteered with the Everman Youth Baseball Association, has been an active leader at his church and the high school Athletic Booster Club and coached summer high school baseball. Gary has been a member of the Everman ISD Board of Trustees for 21 years, presently serving as Board President. He also serves as a board member of the Everman Education Foundation, which provides scholarships to seniors, allowing them to attend high school and college simultaneously.
On Feb. 18, 2018, Everman ISD honored Gary’s longstanding community and school district involvement by naming its high school baseball field the Gary T. Balch Ballpark.
About the Alumni Medal Dinner
Each year, Texas Wesleyan University honors distinguished alumni and friends. Their achievements and contributions are amazing reflections of the University, and we are honored to celebrate and recognize them each year.
This year’s Alumni Medal Dinner will be held in the Martin University Center on Friday, Oct. 29. The reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and program at 7 p.m.
The event is open to all alumni, friends, faculty and staff, and tickets are $65 per person. Register online by Oct. 18 to reserve your seat and be sure to register for other homecoming weekend activities as well.
Questions? Contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 817-531-6548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.