One season removed from being installed in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, legendary local umpire Doug Hudlin has been honoured again.
On the second annual Doug Hudlin Day in Victoria June 11, a memorial banner was raised at Jerry Hale Field, home of National Little League, bearing Hudlin’s photo and Hall of Fame accomplishment. He began his amateur career at the park in 1953, and went on to officiate at the provincial, national and Little League World Series levels. He died in 2014 at the age of 91.
“The banner is fabulous, I’m very honoured and I thank the City of Victoria for honouring Doug Hudlin in this way,” said his niece, Barbara Hudlin, who worked with Coun. Marianne Alto last year to create a special day following the Hall of Fame announcement.
Don Moore, a longtime volunteer at National and carded umpire who had the pleasure of working games with Hudlin, was also thrilled with the additional recognition at the park.
“He was just one of those guys who you gravitated towards, and to be honoured in this way by this park, where he started in 1953, it shows you what kind of man he was,” Moore said. “He umpired his first game here and his last game here, so it’s very fitting. The idea is to keep his memory alive.”
Another unveiling honouring Hudlin is set to happen before the Victoria HarbourCats game this Sunday at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park. The ceremony is expected to start around 12:30 p.m., with the first pitch thrown at 1:00.