The Chief

Beloved Father-Friend-Mentor


Harry Wendelstedt

Harry Wendelstedt walked the fields of Major League ballparks for 33 years, comanding respect from everyone he crossed paths with. He was known for his larger than life presence, but also for his caring and considerate heart, and willingless to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Harry Wendelstedt was trained by Al Somers and served as Chief Instructor at the Al Somers Umpire School for seventeen years.

Wendelstedt was regarded by baseball as one of the game's most competent officials in history, and has won world wide acclaim for his work in five World Series, five All Star Games and eleven Championship playoffs. He has been honored by the nation's top sports banquets five times as the Major Leagues top umpire. He served four terms as President of the Major League Umpire Association.

Among his honors, Sports Illustrated released a poll of major league ball players naming Harry Wendelstedt the best ball and strike umpire in the National League, and the best rated umpire several times by a Major League Baseball poll. Harry was presented many prestigious honors from the city where he resided, including the naming of The Ormond Beach Sports Complex to the newly named Harry H. Wendelstedt, Jr. Sports Complex.

Though his Hall of Fame career ended in 1998, his dedication and devotion to the game he loved never did. He continued to operate this school until his passing, and will continue to influence the staff of instructors he has left behind forever. Enough can never be said about the impression he left upon everyone he knew, both in baseball and out. He was incredibly proud of his lustrous career, spanning over five decades, but was equally fulfilled with the contributions he made to the people and communities that surrounded him. He may be gone, but will not be forgotten. Rest in peace.



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