Local Umpire Officiates National Tournament
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - It’s summertime which means travel softball tournaments across the country are in full swing. One local umpire has been a part of these competitions, officiating at a national tournament in Virginia a few weeks ago. Dave DeMerchant began umpiring almost 40 years ago. Since that time, he’s had his mind set on one thing.
“My goal was to get into during national tournaments and so forth and get into the national indicator fraternity, which means you’ll do three nationals and you’ll receive awards and you’ll get your name in Oklahoma City where the Hall of Fame is,” said DeMerchant.
DeMerchant is just one of 28 people from Maine who are in the Hall of Fame as an umpire. He did his first national in 1997 and since then has done five more, one of which a few weeks ago in Virginia.
“It was 29 teams from across the country,” he said. “There were 25 umpires and we did the whole week, Tuesday through Sunday.”
Even getting to do a single championship is difficult.
“You have to be recommended by your local commissioner who takes it to the state commissioner who recommends it to the New England commissioner and they select who they think could go because when they select somebody from your state,” DeMerchant said. “Obviously you’re representing everybody and obviously they want someone who will do a good job because it reflects back on them. “
DeMerchant said he loves to do it because of how great the competition is, but he has another part that is his favorite.
“They bring pins from their teams and they swap with each other,” he said. “Well, I take the Maine potato pin from the Maine potato board and I say this is a potato, it says Maine on it. And, I trade with the kids, I’m just like the kids and I swap with the kids and I try to get the pins of the teams that I umpire.”
DeMerchant said he’s done a lot but he still hopes he can continue to umpire more nationals and more competitions for as long as he can.
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