Final Farewell To K-Tribe's "Mama"

Hundreds gathered in Kinston Friday evening to say farewell to the K-Tribe's "Mama."

A celebration of life service for Evelyn Kornegay was held inside Grainger Stadium. Tears flowed as friends, family members, and baseball fans gathered.

For over 15 years, Kornegay housed and took care of baseball's future with the Kinston Indians. One of those ball players was Carl Long--the first black baseball player to play in the Carolina League with the K-Tribe. During tough times, Long looked to "Mama." Long says, "Mama just took em under her wing. You can't find no better person than Evelyn Kornegay. She's my mama, she's my friend and I'm definitely going to miss her."

Kornegay passed away last Friday from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81. The funeral will be held Saturday at 1:00 P.M. At United American Free Will Baptist Tabernacle in Kinston.

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Visitation for Evelyn "Mama" Kornegay will take place at Grainger Stadium Friday night at 6 p.m. in Kinston.

The funeral will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at United American Free Will Baptist Tabernacle in Kinston.

Kornegay was a fixture at Grainger Stadium for many years, cheering on the K-Tribe from her usual seat. She even opened up her home to Kinston Indians players over the last 15 years.

Kornegay passed away last Friday of pancreatic cancer, she was 81.

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Evelyn "Mama" Kornegay, as she was lovingly known, died early Friday morning at her home from pancreatic cancer.

Mama provided a loving, home away from home for approximately 150 Kinston Indians players over the last 15 years. From future All-Stars like Victor Martinez, to those who never made it out of the Carolina League, Mama loved all of her "boys" as she adoringly called them.

"It is impossible to measure the impact Mama had on the Kinston and Cleveland Indians," said Kinston Indians General Manager Shari Massengill. "From players, to coaches to us in the front office, she never stopped giving. The Kinston Indians not only lost their biggest fan, but this community has lost one of its best people."

"This ballpark will not be the same without Mama," Indians Assistant General Manager Janell Bullock said. "Everyone who met her fell in love with her. She just had that effect on people. I will never hear the word ‘babe’ without thinking of Mama."

"She was the most loving, caring and giving person I have ever met," said Indians Director of Broadcasting Chris Hemeyer. "Her positive outlook and love of life was with her even as she battled cancer. She lit up every room she ever walked into."

WITN sports director Billy Weaver introduced many folks in Eastern Carolina to "Mama" back in 2003. Her story will re-air on WITN news at 6pm and is linked here.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by ladystar_n on May 31, 2010 at 11:23 AM
    BTW, to anonymous...it has been on the news for days because she was a blessing to many. Maybe if you were ever touched by her you would understand. The news only showed a portion of our pain and our honor. They honored her for days, but we will honor her for years to come.
  • by ladystar_n on May 31, 2010 at 11:17 AM
    Don't know which one of my sisters posted the comment to the "rude individual" but we are so beyond that person. We knew there would be some ppl that would not share our love, honor and support for her. Remember the lessons she tought us about ppl. However, to those of you that do thank you. My God bless all of you, the ones that are with us and the ones that are not.
  • by Anonymous on May 28, 2010 at 10:00 AM
    HOW RUDE!!! IM ONE OF THE GRANDDAUGHTERS!!!! TO THE RUDE ONES YOU ALL MUST HAVE NEVR HAD A DEATH IN THE FAM AND WHEN IT DOES HAPPEN I HOPE YOU REGRET EVERYTHING YOU SAID! MY GRANDMA WILL LIVE ON FOREVER IN MY HEART SO IF U DONT CARE ABOUT HER THEN YOU SHOULDNT HAVE COMMENTED...YOU WOULDNT WANT NO ONE SAYING THAT ABOUT A LOVED ON YOU LOST..MAY GOD BLESS YOUR DISRESPECTFUL SOULS
  • by Dave on May 22, 2010 at 06:19 PM
    I'm with anonymous on this one. Let this woman and the story rest!
  • by RF on May 22, 2010 at 05:58 PM
    I'm rude? How about the disrespectful comments you made to someone that passed away that meant a lot to a community? She was honored at Grainger last night and buried today. That's why it's been in the news for days. Now just go way anonymous! Thank you!
  • by Anonymous on May 22, 2010 at 01:45 PM
    Actually, RF, I stopped reading about it DAYS ago - I clicked on "comments" to express my opinion as I am entitled, therefore, I don't have to "shut up" with my opinions just because they differ from yours. You're rude.
  • by RF on May 22, 2010 at 09:54 AM
    Oh shut up Anonymous @ 5:08am..If you don't want to read the story then don't click on it!
  • by Anonymous on May 22, 2010 at 02:08 AM
    sorry for the loss, but people, LET IT GO!!! This has been on the news for days and days and days!!!
  • by Joy on May 21, 2010 at 06:26 PM
    What a beautiful baseball mom....God bless you...
  • by B Location: MD on May 21, 2010 at 12:30 PM
    I was in NC last weekend and while watching WITN I saw the story on "Mama". It was very inspiring to see how she opened her heart and home to so many. Very sorry to hear of her passing, from the story she touched a lot of lives. RIP "Mama
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