MARGATE – He’s done so much to make Margate a great place to live and play, and has touched the lives of thousands of the city’s youngest citizens. The Board of Commissioners Thursday, June 9 honored longtime city employee Robert “Yogi” Hiltner on the occasion of his retirement after 26 years with the Public Works Department.
Hiltner, who was responsible for maintaining the city’s athletic fields, coached baseball for 45 years, oversaw the At the Top basketball clinics, and worked countless hours in the off-season installing the elaborate displays at Sigmund Rimm Recreational Complex on Jerome Avenue that people flock to see during the Christmas and Jewish holidays.
“We in Margate will be forever grateful for his years of dedicated service to the kids in the community,” Commissioner Maury Blumberg said.
Blumberg presented him with an autographed photograph of Babe Ruth and declared the day, “Yogi Hiltner Day” in Margate.
“I would not have been able to do what I did without tremendous help from the city,” Hiltner said mentioning numerous volunteer field workers, public works employees, city officials and family members who supported him along the way.
A multi-sport athlete in high school, Hiltner maintained his involvement in sports coaching the city’s youngsters and getting them ready for high school, both in baseball and basketball, Blumberg said.
Hiltner retired as a Little League coach in 2012 after 44 years teaching the fundamentals, building skills and saw many of his players excel in high school sports. Blumberg said many of them went on to play in college.
Although he stopped coaching children, he remained active with the adult Atlantic County Baseball League coaching the Margate Hurricanes to 50 championships.
“It was city involvement that brought the complex together,” Hiltner said about the sports program.
Hiltner also oversaw reconstruction of the city’s athletic fields. Although the fields had been ignored for about 40 years, they should last another 20 years because they were done so well, Hiltner said.
He was named the Cape Atlantic League’s Sportsperson of the Year in 2015.