John Hie

It’s been said that great umpires were once great players, and John Hie is no exception. He began his softball playing career at Clarendon Park in 1951. While continuing at Clarendon, his team started the money league at Chicago and Kedzie in the early 50s. John played at Clarendon until 1974, when he switched to the other side of the plate as an umpire, who worked exclusively with Hall of Famer Dominick Paparato. When Dominick retired, Hie took over as chief umpire until his retirement. He was a member of the Umpire Protective Association, and ran clinics and interpretation meetings for fellow umpires. While umpiring at Clarendon, John Hie introduced the “no crash rule” that was later adopted into other softball leagues. In the fall of 1999, John took on a new challenge when he was asked to put together rules and interpretations for the fledgling 16” softball league in the Chicago Public School System. The program was so successful that the league has expanded to include public and parochial high schools. Besides his 16” duties, John has also worked as a high school and college fast-pitch umpire, and has been the chief umpire for Chicago Federal Officers 12” slow pitch league. John’s umpiring skills have also landed him spots in two Hollywood movies; A League of Their Own and Rookie of the Year. In 2000, John lived on the Northwest side of Chicago.