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Victoria honours legendary little league umpire Doug Hudlin

Higgins Street next to National Little League Park now also known as Doug Hudlin Memorial Way
Victoria unveiled the new Doug Hudlin Memorial Way on Sunday, June 23.

Victoria has bestowed Higgins Street with with the new moniker 'Doug Hudlin Memorial Way' to honour the legendary local little league umpire.

The "gentleman umpire," as Hudlin was known in local baseball circles, passed away in 2014 at age 91.

Hudlin was a pioneering Black Canadian umpire. Beginning his career in Victoria in 1953, he later became the first Canadian to work the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn., and the only Black non-American umpire to ever work the series.

“Doug Hudlin was a trailblazer and a valued member of our community,” Mayor Marianne Alto said through a news release. “This signage serves as a lasting tribute to his remarkable contributions to the city, the sport, and generations of ball players, and ensures that his legacy will continue to inspire.”

Hudlin is a member of the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame, the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association Hall of Fame, and has been recognized by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. He is also a founding member of the British Columbia Black History Awareness Society.

Higgins Street runs between Hillside and Cook Street alongside the National Little League Park, also known as Jerry Hale Field, where Hudlin began his career and where he worked as an umpire for many years. The Doug Hudlin Memorial signage will be added atop the existing Higgins Street signs.

“On behalf of our family, we are thankful for this huge honour,” Hudlin’s niece Barbara Hudlin said through the news release. “Doug was an exceptional umpire, a friend to everyone in the community and he set a standard for his family which we strive to emulate.”

About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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