Even though Bill Wyatt does not have kids in Minor Ball, he has always wanted to be a helping hand to the organization. Over the years he has dedicated hours of his life each day to helping the kids, as well as the adult umpires.
“Bill is rarely home before 10 p.m. every night during the ball season,” said his partner Lori Singleton. “The occasional Saturday or Sunday he might be home but not very often, needless to say we don’t take any summer holidays.”
Bill is so dedicated to Minor Ball that he recently cancelled a trip to play with the Carlyle Reds in Hudson Bay July 5-8, as he couldn’t find anyone to umpire the AAA games in Carlyle that same weekend.
This is why Singleton decided that he deserved some recognition. Luckily Scotia Bank was holding a competition entitled “Game Changers”, which was designed to recognize individuals who showed leadership and who also make a difference in their community’s health, education, social services, arts, sports and the environment. This was perfect for Bill Wyatt.
Singleton originally entered Wyatt secretly, with few people even knowing she did so. As the competition went on she realized she needed to tell the community as the competition needed people to vote in order for the entry to win anything.
After Wyatt’s votes began to rise, his companion realized she needed to read the remainder of the rules. After reading them she came to the conclusion that she needed someone not related to the entrant to write an essay about why he deserved to win the prize money and rewards. After reading this she immediately knew there was only one person for the job. Ken King who was a close friend of Wyatt’s and also another big addition to the Minor Ball volunteers, wrote up a lovely speech within the few days they had left.
“The leadership that Bill has shown and the results have made the game so much better for all local teams and coaches, visiting teams and fans alike,” King wrote. “People visiting the ball park know that the umpires will be well-prepared, well-mannered and well-dressed. They will add to the enjoyment of all rather than taking some fun out of the game.”
This must have worked for the first round, as it was announced last week that Bill Wyatt was the winner of a Game Day prize pack, awarded to regional winners once a month. He won a 1,000 dollar donation for Carlyle Minor Ball, four tickets to the July 28 Roughriders game, a sideline view of pre-game festivities, a team jersey featuring a Scotiabank Game Changers patch as well as a Scotiabank Game Changers football.
What they need now is a lot more votes so that he can go on to win the national prize of 100,000 dollars for Minor Ball as well as a chance to win a 100th Grey Cup prize package. To place your votes go to www.scotiabankgamechangers.com
“ If he isn’t umping he will still be at the ball park mentoring the kids, making sure the fans, coaches and players aren’t giving the young umpires a hard time,” concluded Singleton.