Smyrna's William Kinsley will umpire this week in the Little League Junior Division Eastern Regional Tournament in Freehold, N.J.
During the regular baseball season, Smyrna resident William “Bill” Kinsey can be seen behind the plate or umpiring at one of the bases at the Smyrna-Clayton Little League complex.
Now in his 11th year, Kinsey has umpired at various levels, from the Little League minors, majors, junior and senior divisions, to the local tournament level.
As a result of all of his hard work, Kinsey has been selected to umpire in the Junior Division Eastern Regional Tournament to be held July 31 through August 6 in Freehold, New Jersey. The Junior Division is for ball players age 13-15. The winner of this tournament moves on to the Junior World Series.
“It is certainly an honor to be selected to work this tournament,” said Kinsey, “I applied through the District, received its approval, then I was informed by a letter that I was chosen for the tournament. I’ve also received a number of e-mails concerning what to do before I go to New Jersey, and, of course, what to do once the tournament gets underway.”
Kinsey said he has to take care of all of his own travel arrangements to get to Freehold. “This is strictly volunteer, so there’s no pay, but once I get there, they will take care of my room and board for the duration. And they will supply me and all of the umpires with an official uniform shirt, but we have to bring the rest of our personal gear,” he said. “So there’s plenty to do before the first game on Thursday, July 31 at 4 p.m.”
Kinsey, now 52, was born and raised in Smyrna, and played baseball in the Smyrna-Clayton league before joining the Marine Corps. He has worked for the Frito-Lay company for 15 years.
He got into umpiring back in 204 when his children, William, now 19, and Madison, now 17, got involved in the Smyrna-Clayton Little League, and there was a need for more umpires. “I had coached in the league, but we needed more umpires. I tried it, and I liked it, so I stopped coaching and stayed with umpiring. Then, I went to training classes and umpiring school and worked my way up to the District and State levels,” he said.
Kinsey said there a too many amusing stories to tell about his umpiring career, but said he wanted to thank his wife of 22 years, Marnie, for constantly helping him out.
“Yes, she has even brought my uniform to the field many times, when I didn’t have time to stop home after work to get changed,” he said.
Kinsey said working the Junior Regional Tournament will definitely help his umpiring career, but he’s not done yet: “My ultimate goal is to some day work the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.”