Kelly Dine Ready for L.L. World Series

Diamonds for North HS Teacher
Posted on 07/31/2019
Image of Kelly Dine as Umpire(Mike Peticca for Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer)

Acting on a simple whim put Kelly Dine on the path to her key role in one of the world’s traditional summertime youth events.

“I had just finished coaching our one son’s team and we were walking back to the parking lot,” remembers Dine, who is one of 16 umpires selected from around the world to make the calls at baseball’s Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., Aug. 15-25.

“We passed another field, where the game was being delayed because an umpire wasn’t present due to a mistake in scheduling,” she says. “I thought, ‘I’ll give it a try.’ I volunteered to umpire, donned some old, ill-fitting equipment from the utility box, and ended up enjoying myself.”

Dine, of Hudson, not only enjoyed herself. She has excelled.

The World Series, featuring eight teams of 10- to 12-year-old all-stars from regions across the United States and eight other teams from every continent except Antarctica, draws global attention. Every game of the tournament is televised by ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC.

The quality of playing competition deserves elite umpires, such as Dine -- who will be the sixth female umpire in the 80-year history of the Little League World Series.

“She is an amazing umpire,” says Jeff Dine, Kelly’s husband. “Kelly has a genuine love for the game, which is reflected in how she interacts with other umpires, coaches and players. She has a stellar grasp of the rules and a keen eye for all the action on the field.

“Finally, when she is behind the plate, her strike zone is consistent throughout the game. There is no arguing of balls and strikes!”

Kelly Dine is a U.S. Navy veteran, an accomplished athlete, a nurse and a teacher. And, she is the lone woman among the more than 1,200 members of the College Baseball Umpires Association. In April, she worked the Malone University at Kent State game, which is believed to make her the first woman to umpire an official NCAA baseball game involving a Division I team (Kent State). Read more here >>.

Image of Kelly Dine
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