During the past 40 years, Irv Porter has worn many different uniforms, starting as a player for 18 years on teams that won four State Titles and played in nine World Tournaments. Porter has also been an Area Director and the first Northern Illinois Regional Director for the Illinois USSSA, along with his current position as umpire.
This year, Porter completed his 20th year of umpiring, which has included calling games at seven different World Tournaments. He has also attended numerous USSSA National Umpire Clinics and has also taught at these clinics for over ten years.
“As an umpire, Irv approaches the game the way he did as a player, with hustle, dedication and determination,” Bob Papich, a 2002 Hall of Fame inductee, said. “It made little difference to him if it were [sic] co-rec or a women’s game, the hustle was and is always there.”
Porter has co-authored two USSSA rule changes with Illinois USSSA State Director Brenda Paulson that were passed and became USSSA National rules. The first, which allows a team to start and finish a game with a minimum of nine players and the home run penalties used in the Men’s programs.
“Irv has added more to the Illinois By-Laws and Playing Rules than any other Director,” Paulson said. “Irv has always tried to change the game for the betterment of its participants. Irv’s enthusiasm has always been contagious.”
The Illinois Softball Report that Porter started in the spring of 1997 has since been converted to a web-based publication as of the fall of 2002. The Internet has allowed I.S.R. to bring the softball player tournament results, including tournament recaps, game photos and upcoming tournament brackets, in a faster manner.
From Major to the Class E level, Irv is always prepared to do his job, willing to go anywhere at any time to umpire. This also helped him be inducted into another association’s 16-inch Illinois Hall of Fame.
“Many of the Hall of Fame athletes have had Irv as an umpire,” Papich said. “You may not have always agreed with his calls, but you cannot second guess effort to give you the best game he could give you at that time.”
Irv Porter’s induction into the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame as an umpire is well-deserved due to his dedication to the game of softball.