|Umpires 35 Years, McMann Honoured by Baseball Alberta
Herman McMann couldnt bat very well 35 years agoso he learned how to umpire baseball games insteadand is still doing it.
For that dedication, leadership, initiative and ability the 58 year old man who lives north of Provost was honoured by Baseball Alberta
on the weekend in Edmonton, receiving the Baseball Alberta Umpire Hall of Fame award.
McMann told The News that he was really astounded by the Sunday, October 29 honour. He said that most of these types of
honours are bestowed on the bigger centres. I was quite honoured.
It was about 1965 when he had been trying to get on a first divisional baseball team at Renfrew Park when he lived with his wife
Wanda in Edmontonbut he could not hit the curve ball. I could catch and field well with them but when they said he could learn to
bat, he declined. He left that ball diamond and went past another one on the way home, stopping at Argyll Park where some games were
ready to start. He remembers asking someone if they needed some help. They said, can you umpire? and I said no. So they
promptly gave him a mask anyway and he umped his first game. I liked it.
McMann hasnt stopped sincewith his latest game this summer where he did Mosquito A and the Pee Wee A championships the
same weekend in Consort.
I like the game and thats why I stay in it. I still have something to offer the little kids and the starting umpires.
But the veteran umpire smiles when he talks about his biggest honourthis summer watching his daughter Gwen Young of Bow
Island umpire the AAA Canadian baseball championships in the gold medal game. As far as he knows, shes the first woman to umpire
that calibre of baseball play in Canada. She carries her level five umpire card. McMann meanwhile, has had his level six card but now is
content with a level two to look after local games. He has done national level officiating but finds the travel now too demanding.
Former Provost resident Terry Schneider of Coronation who also umpires, nominated McMann to a selections committee for the
The biggest problem facing umpires today, McMann says is that the dedication and respect for the game from many players is gone.
He says that 20 years ago he might encounter one problem a year with a player. Today its two or three every game. The language used
is unreal and If I hear it, I stop it.
Regarding his weekend award, McMann says that Baseball Alberta has for many years honoured players, executive and coaches but
just began inducting umpires into a hall of fame within the last three years.
He also has enjoyed refereeing hockey in the area but recently retired from that because he couldnt skate fast enough to keep up with
His next goal is to wait until his grandson is four years old so he can umpire a game with him in it.
The Provost umpire estimates he does up to 100 games per year and says that he could do up to five games in one day at a tournament.
I thoroughly have enjoyed the games.
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