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.

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

BaseballcharityVictoria HarbourCats

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Staff celebrate the opening of the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre adjacent to Royal Jubilee Hospital in March 2001. (Photo provided by Provincial Health Services Authority)
Victoria cancer centre marks two decades of saving lives

BC Cancer – Victoria is B.C.’s second largest cancer centre

Wild Wise Sooke is urging the public to be bear aware. (Photo by Brian Rundle)
Wild Wise Sooke reminds public to be aware of bears

Residents asked to be mindful of their garbage habits, not to draw in wildlife

“Racing Classics” by John Horton depicts sailboats near Trial Island off the coast of Oak Bay. The painting will be featured in his <em>Maritime Impressions</em> exhibit at the Winchester Gallery until April 14.
Greater Victoria galleries beckon spring with vibrant, whimsical nature scenes

At The Galleries: look at what’s on display this month

Katie Hamilton is one of three Victoria residents receiving a $10,000 podcast production grant from Telus Storyhive. Her podcast, Her Love of Sport, will take listeners through stories from women in the sports industry. (Courtesy of Katie Hamilton)
Three local podcasts coming to Victoria following Telus Storyhive grants

Victoria podcasts chosen out of 700 applications to receive $10,000

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

Most Read