Barbara Hudlin, niece of the late Doug Hudlin, a longtime baseball umpire from Victoria and a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, stands on the field at Royal Athletic Park. She’s co-ordinating the first Step Up to the Plate charity ballgame there June 8, as part of the marking of Doug Hudlin Day in the city on June 11.

New charity ballgame to mark Doug Hudlin Day in Victoria

Late, beloved longtime umpire to be honoured with Hudlins vs. Fernwood game, June 8 at RAP

Through the decades he spent umpiring on youth baseball diamonds around Greater Victoria and beyond, Doug Hudlin became a beloved figure for his knowledge of the game, his fairness and the patience he exhibited while helping teach young players the intricacies of the game.

The City of Victoria declared June 11 to be Doug Hudlin Day that year. His family hopes a new charity ball game called Step Up to the Plate, scheduled for noon on June 8 at Royal Athletic Park, will continue to honour him and also help break down barriers and allow more young people to enjoy sport.

The longtime umpire and active community member died in 2014 at the age of 91, but his memory lives on in his family and the many players who encountered him over the years, as well as through his induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017.

ALSO READ: Bat speed, exit velocity and spin rates, how the HarbourCats swing big on technology

“He was called the ‘gentleman umpire,’” says Hudlin’s niece and game co-ordinator, Barbara Hudlin, referring to how generations of players, coaches and parents characterized this friendly, outgoing man. “There’s all those emotions around Doug Hudlin and that day for his family, too, so it’s going to be fun.”

Step Up to the Plate, supported by the Victoria HarbourCats and the City, will see The Hudlins – a team comprised of family members and others who knew Doug well – play the Fernwood Ballgetters. Admission is by donation at the gate, with all proceeds going toward the promotion of sports for children and youth with disabilities, a cause for which Hudlin was passionate.

Asked whether the game will become an annual family reunion of sorts, Barbara expect it quite possibly could, as some family members are coming from out of town to attend.

“Some of them haven’t played ball for a while, but I think it’ll be a great day,” she says. “I’m hoping that it eventually gets bigger, that’s the goal.”

Banners recording Doug Hudlin’s accomplishments and honouring his memory hang on the backstop at Jerry Hale Field, the National Little League park at Cook Street and Hillside Avenue where Hudlin got his umpiring start in 1953, and at RAP during the HarbourCats season.

*****

If you’re keen to watch HarbourCats baseball, check out the first annual Peninsula Co-Op Alumni Game, June 1 at RAP. Past stars of the team, including slugger Gabe Clark, Hayden Jaco, Riley Guntrip, Island products Austin and Connor Russell and former HarbourCats coach and Victoria Seals player Charlie Strandlund, will take on the team being assembled for the 2019 season.

Game time is 6:35 p.m., find tickets online at ticketrocket.co or at the gate.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

Central Saanich hosts NEAT program to help seniors connect with each other

Health promotion program aims to reduce social isolation among seniors

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Tickets available for Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction

Ryan Cochrane, Mike Piechnick and Rob Short among the inductees

Most Read