On February 17, 2019, pre-pandemic, there was massive birthday celebration for the late-great Martin Luther Matthews, at Harris Stowe State University. Today, I am learning that this great man has passed at 97-years-old.
Martin Luther Mattews is the co-founder/president (1960-2014) of Matthew Dickey Boy’ & Girls’ Club in north city.
A Legacy of Transforming Lives
Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club was founded under a shade tree in St. Louis’ Handy Park by two neighborhood baseball coaches, Martin Luther Mathews and the late Hubert “Dickey” Ballentine, in 1960. Since then the Club has instilled the values of respect, restraint and responsibility within more than 1 million young people, ages 5 to 18.
A former semi-pro baseball player, Mr. Mathews recognized the role that athletics can play in helping young people learn important life values: responsibility, respect, restraint and teamwork. Together with Mr. Dickey, he began coaching Little League baseball teams in St. Louis’ The Ville neighborhood. His early teams were underfunded, with limited equipment, no uniforms and a single good bat and ball. But Mr. Mathews convinced his players that hard work and self-esteem could overcome those obstacles, and within a few years, his team won the Tri-State Championship.
I remember as a kid in Catholic Schools, we took a field trip to an event and we had gotten a chance to meet his coordinates. What is there to say about this great man?
But stellar, humble and pure authorative. Matthews was a huge exclamation mark in the city of St.Louis and beyond. Some great young men and women have enjoyed better lives because of him.
I remember reading where ‘This is Us’ actor Sterling K. Brown applauded Matthew-Dickey’s on helping his upbringing. And he also made several donations to the facility over the years.
I had many friends who had gone there, but my mom would never allow us in certain parts of the neighborhood. So, I would only just sit back and hear of all the great times they had.
12 years ago as the organization Matthew-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club celebrated 50 years, they have seen their share of philantrophy efforts. I would tear up ever time I hear of people contributing to them.
You can still help the center continues to strive in Matthew’s honor by DONATING NOW!
Martin Luther Mathews, born on February 17, 1925: Neelyville, Missouri is the co-founder and emeritus president of the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club. Mathews work over the past 60 years has impacted over a million young lives and has been recorded in the recently released biography, “I Trust You with My Life,” available on-line at ItrustYouWithMyLife.com. One of Mathews favorite sayings is “what you do for yourself dies with you and what you do for others lives on forever.” These are certainly words by which he’s lived his life. SLSHOF.
We at the Argus offer our condolences to the family. R.I.P., to a great leader in St. Louis, Martin Luther Matthews.