Charles G. Walker, Jr.
“There’s going to be a big void – he’s going to be sorely missed,” George Bates says of former umpiring partner and close fried, Charlie Walker.
Walker, who passed away last May, was looking forward to his induction into the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame. More so than anyone could imagine, close friends said.
Men the caliber and integrity of Walker are Halls of Fame are designed for. “You could always depend on Charlie,” said Donna Williams, another who worked hand-in-hand with Walker in the Ashland Umpires Association.
Walker left a mark in umpiring that may stand forever. He umpired over 8,000 games in a career, which spanned 46 years. Much of the last few years had been spent in administration duties, but Walker still found time to do as much officiating as time and health permitted.
“He was tough, very fair…completely fair.” Said Dave Walter, a close friend. “He never leaned one way or the other, and made his umpires that way.
Walker spent 41 years as an active Amateur Softball Association umpire, working over 50 state tournaments and seven national tourneys.
Walker was also active on the high school and college fronts while serving as an officer with the Ashland Umpires Association for over 30 years. He coordinated umpiring assignments for all age levels of softball and baseball.
The first ASA state umpire-in-chief (1972-76), Charlie held numerous titles and won a number of major awards and honors.
Walker was inducted into the Ohio ASA Hall of Fame in 1987 and the National Indicator Fraternity in the National ASA Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 1986.
A graduate of Union High School in 1945, Walker was an active participant in baseball and basketball. He started umpiring during World War II. He was active in the Ashland sports scene from 1946 to his death earlier this year.
Softball and baseball were not his only umpiring loves. Walker officiated high school and college basketball for 27 years.
Charlie always made the time to share his vast experience and know-how with the up-and-coming umpires. He conducted approximately 500 clinics, including ones at the United States Air Force at Ramstein Base in Germany and the Whethersfield Base in England.
“I knew Charlie all my life and it’s like softball and baseball itself dying. I feel the loss of a good friend,” said Stan Kopp, president of the Ashland Church League.
Charlie Walker is no longer involved with the Ashland County sport scene, but his legacy will remain forever.
Nominator: Doug Walker and Beckie Howman