FRESNO, California.- On Saturday the life of Fresno Grizzlies Founder John Carbray was remembered during a memorial service at Campus Bible Church.
“My dad was a great guy,” said John’s son Kyle. ” He was a visionary guy. He was larger than life. My whole life I always bragged about him. I couldn’t be more proud to be John Carbray’s son.”
Carbray passed away on August 10 surrounded by family. Carbray struggled in his last years of life as he battled Alzheimer’s.
Many who knew him described him as a visionary with a plan for Fresno. A plan to bring Triple-A Baseball to town. He made that dream a reality in 1998 when the Grizzlies debuted. Then in 2002, Chukchansi Stadium unveiled downtown.
Although many did not want the stadium to be built in the soul of the town, Carbry made it happen.
“He sold Fresno to Fresno,” said Kyle. “Which isn’t easy to do. Sometimes this town has a chip on its shoulder.”
“It is more than just a stadium,” said former Fresno Mayor Alan Autry. “It was a statement by somebody who said Fresno matters. Downtown matters. The neighborhoods that have been left behind, should not be left behind anymore and let’s get together as a team and rebuild those neighborhoods. that is his lasting legacy.”
To many, he left behind a legacy of baseball and grit, but to his son, he was simply just a great father.
“Just a larger than life guy,” said Kyle. ” They don’t make them like John Carbray anymore. I could use one today.”