Victoria names street after beloved ‘Gentleman Umpire’

Victoria names street after beloved ‘Gentleman Umpire’

There’s a new street name in B.C.’s capital, and when you’re on it, you may want to be on your best behaviour.

That’s because the street is named after Doug Hudlin, who was also known as the Gentleman Umpire of Victoria.

Umpiring is a two-way street. On any given trip to the plate, one player’s going to love you, while the other won’t.

But if there was ever an ump who called it right down the middle, it was Doug Hudlin.

Hudlin died in 2014, and left a towering legacy.

He had more than 40 years of experience volunteering at National Little League in Victoria, and he was the first Black umpire the city had ever seen.

He was also the first non-American to work the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, among his many other achievements.

But his latest honour was pitched to the city by his niece, Barbara Hudlin.

“When I approached the city with the thought, it had to be here,” Barabara told CHEK News on Friday while standing near the National Little League baseball diamond.

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On Thursday night, Victoria city council voted unanimously to mark Higgins Street as Doug Hudlin Memorial Way.

“We have a long history of multiculturalism in the city and people like Doug have played an important role in that,” said Victoria Coun. Matt Dell. “And I think that’s why it’s pretty special to be able to put that name on a road and remember it forever.”

Doug wasn’t a perfect umpire, and when he did hear from hecklers, he kept it classy.

One time, three ladies were giving him an earful from the stands, “And he went over to the fence and said, ‘Now ladies, that’s not how you act.’ And they stopped and the game went on,” said Barbara.

Commemorative street signs are expected to be placed in June.

Jordan CunninghamJordan Cunningham

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