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Dexter calls more than balls and strikes

 

Kenny Dexter

Strike, ball, foul ball, you're out, you are safe - all calls you would expect from an umpire. Right?

Meet one umpire that has added a whole lot more.

Kenny Dexter.

Ken was the public works director for Electric City, retiring about a year ago after nearly 40 years on the job.

He not only had a long career working for the city, but Ken has been a softball umpire for about 20 years now, and is still at it.

He's added a new dimension over the years to umpiring.

Sitting in the stands, you probably wouldn't hear his comments to the younger softball players.

But if you could, it would go something like this: "Hold your bat a little higher," or "Stand closer to the plate." Things like that.

Ken has left his mark on a number of young softball players. And it hasn't gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

He regularly receives a handful of announcements from seniors inviting him to graduation exercises from Almira-Coulee-Hartline and Lake Roosevelt. They remember the goodwill from their earlier days on the diamond.

Dexter umpires the younger set (8-, 9-, 10-year-olds) as well as high school softball all around North Central Washington.

When he is umpiring, Ken says he shuts out everything so he can concentrate on the task at hand - umpiring, calling strikes and balls.

Dexter has umpired games up to the state tournament. Hasn't had those games yet.

His dedication as an umpire is really a carryover from his work for the city of Electric City where he was known for doing a little extra for homeowners when they required help.

He is a straight-ahead kind of guy, telling things as he sees it, with a bit of kindness thrown in - a large footprint, if you please.

When working a game, he seems to block out things not related to the game, and if there's a lull, he gets things moving along again.

Dexter reacts when called upon to do so.

He also responds favorably to a plate of brownies.

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