Gone but Not Forgotten: MLB Unmarked Graves Project honors former Reds player Henry ‘Hank’ Gastright with a new headstone installed in Wilder cemetery
Maura Baker, Staff Writer
A crowd gathered to the Diocese of Covington’s St. Joseph Cemetery in Wilder for the installation of a headstone attributed to former Cincinnati Reds player, Henry “Hank” Gastright — whose grave was left unmarked until Aug. 18.
Those gathered included not only the descendants and family of the late baseball player, who passed away over 80 years ago in 1937, but also members of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and their associated historic baseball team, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings.
The idea to install headstones for these long-past baseball players was the brainchild of David Shannon, along with his partner Thomas Bucher, in a project they titled “Gone but Not Forgotten.”
“I enjoy visiting cemeteries, walking around reading grave- stones … I also love the history of Major League Baseball. I have discovered that some people think one or both of these activities are a bit odd,” said Mr. Shannon as he addressed those gathered for the headstone’s installation. “But, I’ve also found that there are many people who share the same interests.”
Hank Gastright’s headstone would be the second successful installation of Mr. Shannon and Mr. Bucher’s project, the first of which being the headstone for Theodore “Huck” Conover, another baseball player buried in an unmarked grave in Lexington, Ky. Both of these projects were funded by donations from supporters of the “Gone but Not Forgotten: MLB Unmarked Graves Project.”
Mr. Shannon thanked Brian Harvey, associate director, Buildings and Properties Office, who oversees several key cemeteries in the Diocese of Covington, for his contributions and support of this project.
“He is the one who has been my contact for getting permission and getting everything done. Brian appreciated what we are doing enough that he himself made a sizable contribution to our cause,” said Mr. Shannon, “So, we appreciate Brian Harvey and the staff here at the Diocese of Covington.”
Image: C&C Monuments, a company based in Lebanon, Tenn., installs the new headstone constructed for former Cincinnati Reds player, Henry “Hank” Gastright. The specially crafted monument features a baseball bat and glove and bears the signature tagline “Gone but not Forgotten.”