Doug Hudlin

On June 23 2024, the City of Victoria, with Doug’s family, unveiled the commemorative street sign “Doug Hudlin Memorial Way” on Higgins Street, Victoria, just across from National Little League Park.

On behalf of our family, we are thankful for this huge honour. Doug was an exceptional umpire, a friend to everyone in the community and he set a standard for his family which we strive to emulate.” Barbara Hudlin.

City of Victoria: “Doug Hudlin’s legacy is preserved through the efforts of Doug’s niece Barbra Hudlin and the extended family through a charity in Doug’s name. Barb carries Doug’s passion for sports, community and youth empowerment through her engagement with the City of Victoria International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD) Committee and IDPAD Youth Grant program.”

In June 2024, to further honor Doug’s contributions to the city and community, the City of Victoria installed three commemorative memorial “street signs” with the regular street signs marking Higgins Street, adjacent to National Little League Park.


“Gentleman Umpire” inducted into the Victoria Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, Umpires Association Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017, founding member of BC Black History Awareness Society.

senior man standing in umpires uniform, baseball field in the background
James Douglas “Doug” Hudlin in 1988
plaque white text on very dark grey background
Plaque honouring Doug Hudlin was unveiled at the National Little League Park on Hillside Ave, Victoria on June 11, 2022.

Doug’s family have been playing baseball for decades. With brothers and cousins, he played for “The Brown Bombers”, 1939-1940, in Victoria.

Sepia tone photo. 12 teenagers and young adults in three irregular rows, standing, crouching or kneeling. Dressed casually, smiling, wearing a variety of clothing, hats and caps.
Back Row: Norm Alexander Sr., *Doug Hudlin, Joe Hudlin, Parnell Hudlin, Herbie Alexander. Middle Row: Ernie Alexander, Albert Kirkbride. Front Row: Herman (Jersey) Wood, Paul Alexander, Tex Wood, Ray Mitchell, Roddie Alexander. Image 2004031011 Courtesy of Salt Spring Island Archives

Doug worked for the City of Victoria but his love was being on the field as an umpire. He umpired generations of Island ball players over four decades. He is remembered for his empathy toward all the young players. He is quoted as saying “In Little League, you’re the umpire and the coach at the same time”.

Doug also umpired at the Canada Little League Championships five times (1966, 1967, 1973, 1981, 1987), the Senior Little League World Series in Gary, Ind., twice (1968, 1974) and the B.C. Summer Games in 1988.
He was the first non-American umpire to work at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1967 and in 1974, making him the first international umpire ever to work two Little League World Series.

He was a founder and served as first president of the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association, a position he held from 1974 to 1979. He was inducted into the association’s hall of fame in 2011.

To honour his legacy, the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association presents the Doug Hudlin Distinguished Service Award each year to a dedicated and long-serving umpire in the province.

Doug also umpired in the National Little League for over 40 years. To honour this service Doug’s niece, Barbra Hudlin, presents the “Doug Hudlin Award” annually to a junior umpire “who is never late, never misses a game, and deemed by their peers and the league to always be professional and respectful to players, fans, and coaches.”

Away from the diamond, Doug was a founding director of B.C. Black History Awareness Society (BCBHAS). The great-grandson of the earliest Black settlers in B.C., Nancy and Charles Alexander, who arrived in Victoria in 1858, was an inspiration for his work. Charles and Nancy had 12 children and 21 grandchildren. The Alexander name remains prominent across Vancouver Island, Salt Spring Island and the Vancouver area. Doug prepared a family tree in the mid-1990’s, recording more than 400 descendants.

In 2011, with Canada Post representatives and on behalf of BCBHAS, Doug introduced Ferguson Jenkins, the first Canadian inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, at a public event in Victoria to launch the Ferguson Jenkins commemorative Canada Post stamp.

senior black man standing addresses the audience, poster of fergie jenkins stamp on easel at left
Doug Hudlin introduces Ferguson Jenkins at the commemorative stamp launch ceremony. ©BC Black History Awareness Society

Beginning in 2017, “Doug Hudlin Day” is now celebrated each year in June in Victoria with a charity baseball game to support “Step Up to the Plate – A Doug Hudlin Charity“, a program of sports for children who do not have the financial means to participate.
This program is supported largely by funds raised at the charity game and by the Hudlin Family.