Longtime ASA Umpire and Central Virginia Player Rep has passed away. When more details become available we will post them. Below is an article about Scott from 2009 and his passion for our sport.
Whether he’s behind home plate as a softball umpire or organizing a softball tournament, Scott Southworth does it with one thing in mind.
“I know to the people who are playing, it’s like a national tournament to them, so I have to treat it accordingly,” said the 61-year-old county resident. “I have to do a good job so the people who are participating can have a good time. I want them to enjoy it as much as I do.”
The personable Southworth has been in the softball game for 44 years, first as a player, then as a coach and now as an umpire and an official with the Amateur Softball Association (ASA).
“In Chesterfield, he is considered our head umpire and ‘Mr. Softball.’ He lives, eats and breathes the game,” said Kelly Thompson, recreation coordinator with the Chesterfield Department of Parks and Recreation.
“It’s his life,” added Drew Walker, a coed player for the Free Choice Act team. “The players appreciate his good-natured approach to the game. He knows everyone by name and genuinely cares for all the players. As an umpire, his No. 1 concern is for the safety of the players. When it’s blazing hot on Sunday afternoons, he’s always checking to make sure people are drinking water and staying hydrated. I’ve seen him stop a game because someone didn’t look well; he made them go cool off.”
Southworth is a nominee for the ASA Hall of Fame this year and says he’s loved every minute of his softball sojourn. “I love the camaraderie with the people, I enjoy the exercise, and I love the game itself so much.”
Southworth started in baseball at John Marshall High School. He then played semi-pro baseball. “It died out, then I started playing softball,” he said.
He has had an illustrious career in softball. In 1965, he started playing in church leagues. He played first base on the Samuel’s Grocery team in 1973 that “was the only team from Richmond to ever win Class A nationals,” Southworth said. He organized the Disco Sports team that finished fourth in nationals. Southworth also coached the AJD team at the AA level from 1980 to 1989 that finished in the final 16 seven years.
Southworth is in his 39th year as an umpire. He won the Indicator Award for umpiring in three national tournaments, and was the representative for two teams that played in national tournaments in Florida.
He’s back in the umpiring saddle this summer after undergoing hip surgery last year.
Dawn Vaughan, a player with the coed Balch Alignment team, said of Southworth, “He is one of the most knowledgeable and fairest umpires I have ever had a chance to play with. If something comes across that he has never experienced before, he will do all he can to make sure that he finds out the answer and fully explains what it is. I absolutely love him as an umpire, and better yet as a person.”
Southworth, who is married with three grown children, umpires 14 games a week in the Chesterfield Coed Softball League on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Harry G. Daniel Park at Iron Bridge and on Sundays at L.C. Bird High School.
A 19-year ASA employee who also owns an insurance agency, Southworth organizes 15 to 20 tournaments a year in the Central Virginia area as senior deputy commissioner with the ASA. “I try to have one tournament every other weekend,” he said. He also organizes two senior tournaments a year.
Among his larger projects, he organizes the Midnight Madness tournament that had about 60 teams participating in July. He also organized the Turkey Shoot tournament the past two Novembers that attracted 102 teams.
During the week, he can be found umpiring coed games. “As long as the good Lord blesses me with my health, I hope to continue doing it,” he said.
That’s good news for the many players who have found enjoyment playing their games under the sharp, caring direction of Mr. Softball.