Brian Wolfe handles community involvement and education programs and plans events for Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, but for five months a year, he dons a mask and spends evenings and weekends helping out on the baseball diamond.
“I got started umpiring Little League Baseball when my sons were playing 11 years ago,” said Wolfe, 46, a communications specialist for the Fredericksburg, Virginia-based co-op. “There is always a shortage of trained volunteer umpires, and it’s a lot of fun to help kids learn the game.”
Wolfe calls 50 to 60 games per season between mid-April and late August. While most of those are local, he’s been behind home plate at state and regional tournaments. And now he’s been selected as one of 12 umpires for the 2018 International Little League Softball World Series.
“I’ll be calling games for 11- and 12-year-old girls in Portland, Oregon,” said Wolfe. The games are scheduled Aug. 8 to 15, and ESPN, with broadcast rights to the series, could carry at least the semifinals and finals live.
While Wolfe’s two sons have aged out of the program, and a daughter, now in middle school, has other pursuits, his interest in Little League remains strong.
“Umpires are the third team on the field, so I try to get a little better with each game,” said Wolfe. “Parents get very involved in their kids being on the field, so sometimes I have to remind them that it’s important to let children be children.”
In addition to his Little League gig, Wolfe also stays involved with his community’s younger generation in his role as youth program coordinator for Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.
He’s taken a half-dozen teenagers on NRECA’s Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., each summer since 2001, and he also helps out with a three-day youth conference sponsored by the Virginia Cooperative Council each spring.
Derrill Holly is a staff writer at NRECA.