Lasting memorial

Panthers to honor late umpire Wooster with dugout dedication

He also filled many positions for school district over long career
By Zack Miller | Jun 26, 2019
Photo by: Ken Waltz Dennis Wooster umpires an Eastern Class B playoff game at Camden Hills Regional High School in the spring of 2012.

Waldoboro — Almost two years ago, Regional School Unit 40 and Medomak Valley High School baseball lost a key community member.

On Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, Dennis Wooster passed away unexpectedly at the age of 69, but his memory will live for generations, as the MVHS home baseball dugout will be dedicated in his honor on Monday, July 1 at 5 p.m., before a Midcoast Babe Ruth League baseball contest between Union Farm Equipment and Newcastle, which starts at 5:30 p.m.

Wooster was a longtime umpire around the state, teacher/coach at MVHS and announcer at Panther athletic events.

"When Wooster passed away his family, in lieu of flowers, had donations made to Medomak Valley athletics," said Medomak Valley athletic director Matt Lash. "The winter [of 2016] before he passed, that third-base dugout flipped over in a storm in January or February. We had a new dugout built before that season, and we thought the money that was donated in his name to the district, would be best used to finish that dugout. Baseball meant so much to him over the years, as an umpire and as a district staff member."

The MVHS Class of 1993 class officers decided to make a donation at the class's 25-year reunion last year, on behalf of Wooster's daughter, Amy, which will be used to finish the dugout project as well.

Wooster spent more than 32 years as a teacher at the high school, and also taught driver's education, before he retired in 2004. He also served on the RSU 40 board, and was still serving when he passed away.

From Wooster's obituary, he "first umpired in 1965 in a Little League game," and continued to call balls, strikes and outs until his death.

Wooster "became a member of [Knox-Lincoln-Waldo] Umpires Association; he umpired his first state championship game, which was a Little League game in Bath, in 1971. [Wooster] was awarded the Ellsworth W. Millett Award in 1981, following this award, in 1982, an engraved brick was placed with others at the Little League East Regional headquarters for his significant contributions to Little League baseball.

"[Wooster] umpired for more than 51 years in countless playoff games, district and state championships at all levels, from Little league to Babe Ruth and high school. He also umpired for multiple softball games. Dennis felt very fortunate to umpire at “some of the best ballparks in Maine,” including Hadlock Field, Mansfield Stadium and Mahaney Diamond. One of his fondest umping memories was when [former Boston Red Sox pitcher] Bill Lee came with some of his friends and played a local group as a fundraiser."

"It's certainly something we are excited about, but it's something that is long overdue," said Lash about the plaque. "I know baseball meant a lot to him and he gave back, not just high school baseball, but Babe Ruth baseball. That was an important development and he certainly gave a lot to it over the years. I think it's an appropriate place to hang that plague in his memory."

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