National Umpire Awards




Home Run Sports Lifetime Achievement Award

In addition to having a long-time contribution to baseball officiating in Canada at the national level, candidates being considered for the Home Run Sports Lifetime Achievement Award must:

  • be an ambassador of the Baseball Canada Umpires’ Program
  • demonstrate excellence and proficiency in umpiring by having officiated or supervised in a minimum of 15 Baseball Canada and/or international events
  • have shown a significant contribution to the structure of umpiring in Canada (specific examples must be provided and may include, but are not limited to: mentoring, evaluating, instructing, being a Course Conductor, member of the Umpires’ Committee, supervising, etc.)

2023 Winner - Lisa Turbitt (ON) & Kent Walker (PEI)

An accomplished international and national umpire and supervisor, Lisa has been a leader for almost 30 years in the umpire development programs provincially and nationally.  Far from resting on her many accomplishments, Lisa continues to be very active both on-field as an umpire, and off-field on the many committees and events she serves. Just some of Lisa’s many accomplishments include:

  • Becoming the first female to umpire at a World Baseball Classic event in 2022
  • Has umpired and supervised at over 20 Baseball Canada National Championships
  • Has umpired at 6 and supervised at 4 International events, recently the 2023 WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay and is also a member of the WBSC Umpires Committee
  • is an active member of the Baseball Ontario Umpires Committee since 1995, with accomplishments in that role including: co-creation of the 5-year Level 1-2 curriculum that is now used across the country along with coordinating and leading all training and development opportunities for prospective Level 4 umpires

Kent has been active in umpiring for his entire 40 year baseball career on PEI serving as a local Umpire in Chief, Board Member of PEI Baseball Umpires Association, and Provincial Umpire Supervisor. The past 25 years of his on field career have seen Kent achieve level 4 and level 5 certification culminating in a selection to umpire at the 2002 World Junior Baseball Championships representing Canada.  In total he has umpired or supervised in more than 15 National and International events across Canada. Today, he remains extremely active in the game umpiring up to 10 games a week at the peak of the summer, often being called upon to work home plate of important games. He still supervises at Baseball Canada National Championships, his most recent assignment in 2022 at the Atlantic 13U Nationals in St. John's NL. In addition to all of this, Kent mentors youth umpires on a regular basis, assisting them in their first years as on field umpires.  All of this is done in the efforts of hoping they have a good experience and helping retain some of the more interested ones.

2022 Winner - Mitch Ball

Mitch Ball was postuhumously awarded this honour in recognition of his lifetime of committment and dedication to umpiring and umpire development in Canada.  

Mitch was a highly respected and successful umpire, working 7 National championships serving as the Gold Medal plate umpire for 3 of them.  He also umpired at 3 International Championships, most recently at the 2015 PanAm Games in Toronto, and was the plate umpire for the 2002 Little League Baseball World Series United States Championship Game.

In addition, Mitch was a Master Course Conductor and national supervisor for Baseball Canada, supervising at three National Championships. When mentoring and instructing umpires, Mitch was known for his humour, insight, and his positive way of helping all umpires he worked with reach their fullest potential.

Some of the accolades he received in his career included being named the Baseball Canada Dick Willis Umpire of the Year, the plate umpire for the 2002 Little League Baseball World Series United States Championship GameBaseball Lethbridge Umpire of the Year, Little League Alberta and Baseball Alberta Umpire of the Year, and was honoured multiple times for various contributions off the field to baseball and the umpire community in Alberta and Canada.

Most important, Mitch was universally respected and beloved as a role model in the umpiring community.  He was a loving husband and dedicated father to his 6 children and 2 foster children.  Mitch will be greatly missed in the umpiring community, and Baseball Canada was honoured to present this award in his honour to his wife Jana and their children.

Past Winners

2019 - Rocky Nickel (SK)

2018 - David Buckingham (NF)

2016 – Dennis Ryan (ON)

2015 – Yves Gagnon (QC)

2011 - Larry Nicholls (MB)

2010 - Don Gilbert (ON) & Len Bell (SK)

2009 - David McManus (NB)

2007 – Howard Chapman (BC)


Dick Willis Memorial Award - Umpire of the Year

Nominees for the Dick Willis Umpire of the Year Award must:

  • ​​​contribute to enhancing the national program on a provincial and/or national level during the current year through on-field work or supervision
  • have umpired and/or supervised at a level of excellence where their performance was deemed to have been exemplary as a result of their evaluation, assignments, or recognition at said event. This could include Provincial, National, or International events. It may include professional or amateur leagues in Canada in which their performance was exemplary.

2023 Winner - Keith McConkey 

A Master Course Conductor who has Supervised at 3 National Championships, including being a Lead Supervisor at a Baseball Canada Cup, Keith had a busy year in 2023 including a Mentor in Baseball Ontario’s Mentoring Program for Level 4 umpires, where, based on experience, Keith provided feedback and strategies to elevate performance for international consideration. Keith continued his commitment to umpiring in Ontario by umpiring at Baseball Ontario’s high profile Provincial events such as the Eliminations and Provincial Championships.  In addition, he was assigned a leadership role at the Level 4/5 National Clinic as a 4-Umpire System Instructor. This was to instruct and provide feedback for umpires who were attending the Blue Jay Showcase. The highlight of Keith’s season came when he represented Canada at the WBSC U18 World Cup in Taiwan last September where his fine work earned him the Home Plate Umpire for the Gold medal Game.  This is a rare, if not unprecedented, accomplishment for a Canadian Umpire at an International event.

2022 Winner - Philip McGee

This year, Phil was involved in many facets of the umpiring program.  He remained an active on-field umpire with his local association in the Battlefords, SK and at provincial events.  He was selected by Baseball Saskatchewan to umpire at the Baseball Canada Senior Men's National Championship, earning a semi-final plate assignment and being recognized for his accomplished performance. 

In addition, he was selected by Baseball Canada to umpire at the Toronto Blue Jays Futures Showcase event, where he was selected for inclusion on Baseball Canada's International Recommendation List.

Off the field, Phil contributed to umpire development through his work on the Baseball Saskatchewan Umpires Committee where he serves as Operations and Communications Lead, and his membership on the Baseball Canada Umpires Committee Communications Portfolio.

Congratulations, Philip!



Past Winners

1993 - Glen Johnson

1994 - Robert Bellerose

1995 - Derek Lloyd

1996 - Dave Buckingham

1997 - Don Gilbert

1998 - René Provencher

1999 - Brian Hodgson

2000 - Ted Derpack

2001 - Ron Shewchuk

2002 - Ray Merkley

2003 - Yves Poulin

2004 - Lisa Turbitt

2005 - Corrie Davis

2006 - Blair Hains

2007 - Rocky Nickel

2008 - Derrick Dubell

2009 - Andrew Higgins

2010 - David Cass

2011 - Trevor Grieve

2012 - Jon Oko

2013 - Andrew Downs

2014 - Rhonda Pauls

2015 - Rob Allan

2016 - Jim McMillan

2017 - Scott Mills

2018 - Guillaume Smith-Desbiens

2019 - Trevor Drury