Born in 1922 in Victoria, B.C., Hudlin served as an umpire in his home province for more than 40 years. Though he was a skilled baseball player as a teenager, Hudlin didn’t begin umpiring until after he hurt his back playing soccer in 1951. Two years later, he started umpiring Little League Baseball and in 1956, he began working senior men’s contests. Known for his good humor and sense of fairness, Hudlin evolved into one of his province’s most respected umpires and he was elected president of the Victoria District Umpires Association in 1963 and served in that post until he founded and became the first president of the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association in 1974, a position he retained for five years.
Along the way, he was chosen as the first non-American umpire to work the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., in 1967. Seven years later, he returned to umpire the event, making him the first international umpire ever to work two Little League World Series.
Hudlin also worked the Canada Little League Championships five times (1966-67, 1973, 1981, 1987), the Senior Little League World Series in Gary, Ind., twice (1968, 1974) and the B.C. Summer Games in 1988. That same year, he was selected by the Celebration ’88 Committee to receive a medal for his longstanding service to the Victoria community as a sports official.
Hudlin umpired his final Little League game in 1992. Six years later, he was elected to the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and in 2011, he was inducted into the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association Hall of Fame. His stellar work behind the plate also earned him lifetime memberships in the Victoria and District Baseball Association (1983), Little League World Series Umpire Alumni (1984), the British Columbia Baseball Umpires Association (1988) and Little League Baseball British Columbia (1989). Hudlin was also the founding director of the British Columbia Black History Awareness Society.
Hudlin passed away on January 5, 2014 at the age of 91. To honour his legacy, the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association presents the Doug Hudlin Distinguished Service Award each year to a dedicated and long-serving umpire in the province.