Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Charlie Heffner R.I.P 1919-2010 - Kingsport's Mr. Umpire

Click here to view Charlie's minor league playing record.

This is the first mention of Charlie in the Kingsport Times. He had just arrived from Pennsylvania to play for our Class D minor league baseball team.

After a successful season, Charlie was sold to Pensacola of the Florida State League.

Kingsport Times sports editor John Bloomer described Charlie's fielding prowess in one 1940 game:

"Heffner, whose short, stubby stature would never mark him as an outfielder, made two of the most breath-taking catches last night it has ever been this writer's privilege to see. They were such as to leave the spectators momentarily stunned when they finally realized that he actually had the ball. He raced 30 yards into right field to make the first one, a onehanded stab that nobody thought he had until he hurled it down to second base as he cut back on the dead run. The second came a few innings later when he raced again about 20 yards out of position to pick one up off the top of the grass on the dead run. Again, without stopping, he let fly, dead to the pin, at first base to catch the runner before he had time to get back and tag up for a double out. That comprised two of the most sensational catches that Kingsport Cherokee fans will see here this season, and makes us wonder again why the little Pennsylvanian didn't stick with Pensacola in his tryout."

By 1976 Charlie was the dean of local umpires and was profiled by Bill Lane.


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