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NSA Hall of Fame: Eddie Ray Cantrell (1993)

CATEGORY: Umpire

YEAR INDUCTED: 1993

AWARDS WON:

  • 1985 Mike Pascuzzi Award (Slow Pitch Umpire of the Year)
  • 1986 110% Award
  • 1990 Board Member of the Year
  • 1995 Board Member of the Year

 

Eddie Ray Cantrell started umpiring at the age of 17.  Eddie Ray became the first registered NSA umpire, registering in April of 1983.  Eddie Ray hosted the very first tournament for NSA and also worked the very first game as an umpire.  In 1983 he was appointed the National Director of Umpires at age 22.  As of this writing in October of 2002, Eddie Ray is still the only person to ever hold that position with the NSA. In 1985 Eddie Ray and Don Snopek co-authored the first NSA umpires manual.  That same spring along with Don Snopek co-authored the NSA by-laws. In November of 1985, Eddie Ray was the first umpire to win the prestigious Umpire of the Year award (which was changed to the Mike Pascuzzi award in 1986).   In 1986 Eddie Ray won the 110% award, which is the second highest award presented at the National Convention, second only to the Presidential Award of Excellence. In 1990 and 1995 Eddie Ray was voted the Board of Director of the year, becoming the first two-time recipient of that award.  In Houston, Texas in 1986, Eddie Ray worked the first Men’s Major World Series; a tournament that he worked 6 times in 3 different decades; until his retirement from the Major Division in 2000. In 1988, Eddie Ray worked the first Super “D” World Series.  Throughout his career as an umpire Eddie Ray has worked countless state tournaments, regional and world series tournaments, most of which again he was picked to work the finals. 

Eddie Ray has been the Umpire In Chief (UIC) at dozens of World, State and Regional tournaments.  He was the tournament UIC of two record breaking Youth World Tournaments in Charlotte, NC and then in Columbus, Ohio.  He has been the UIC for the Men’s Major World Series in every year that he did not umpire the tournament through 2001.

In October 1982 when the NSA was incorporated, Eddie Ray was appointed to the Board of Directors, being the 2nd Board member other than Hugh Cantrell, the NSA founder and CEO.  In 1984 Eddie Ray co-authored the first NSA Rule Book and has been the editor or co-editor ever since.  Eddie Ray has served as co-chairman along with Don Snopek for the NSA Rules Committee beginning in 1985.

In 4 different decades of umpiring Eddie Ray’s personal proudest achievement is that he never had to eject a single person from the thousands of games that he umpired during his 25-year career that ended officially in 2002. 

In October 1993, Eddie Ray Cantrell became the first umpire to be inducted into the NSA Hall of Fame.