Umpire goes beyond balls and strikes

Video from WALB
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 7:18 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Mr. Henry Hill is the epitome of going above and beyond.

Hill is an umpire for the Dixie League and has a lasting impact on each player that steps up to the plate.

“He’s always encouraging all the teams, It just makes me feels me feel good like I’m doing really good and I’m hitting the ball good,” said Dixie League player Denham Deriso.

Hill has been an umpire and an official for over 40 years. It takes a special person to work with the youth, but Hill says they are what keep him going.

“These babies. I mean these babies and just making sure I give something back. A lot of us as adults don’t never give anything back so this is just one of the things God gave me the labor to do and this is my craft,” said Henry Hill.

Mr. Hill goes above the call of duty each game. He takes time to learn each kids name, and create a bond with each of them. His focus, building confidence while working on technique.

“When you hit it out to left field. Says good hit. Good job,” said Dixie League player Payson Jones.

Hill’s impact goes beyond the players. He brightens up everyone’s experience at the game.

“Just the energy he brings to it and the fact that he interacts with the kids. He’s not just here calling balls and strikes or whatever. He’s here trying to make the kids better ball players. He’s trying to make it a better experience for them. He does that for the coaches. He does that for the parents that are here and just that positive energy that he brings to it,” Dixie League coach Charlie Deriso on Mr. Hill.

“It’s instant gratification. Actually seeing a kid that couldn’t hit the ball or throw the ball or catch a ball and then once you see them about mid season the kid hitting throwing and catching the ball. Imma tell you something that’s one of the most exciting things for me being an umpire and an official.”

His bright smile and positive attitude is felt throughout the entire baseball community. Serving as a role model not only for the players but his peers as well.

“He’s not only influenced now generations of kids. But also generations of umpires to be like him,” said Coach Deriso.

You can also catch Mr. Hill running up and down the court and the sidelines.