National Softball Hall of Fame Member
Merle O. Butler
Year Inducted: 1991
Hometown: Edmond, OK
BioNamed first ASA full-time National Director of Umpires in 1981, Butler was instrumental in developing the ASA umpire program into one of the finest amateur officiating organizations in the world. He co-authored the “ILLUSTRATED SOFTBALL RULE BOOK” in 1981 and "TAKE CHARGE SOFTBALL UMPIRING,” printed by Referee Magazine in 1992; wrote the script and has directed three ASA training films, produced 28 umpire training videos, and prepared transparencies for umpire rule and mechanics training.
He has been a registered umpire since 1961 and previously was Region 14 and Metro Santa Clara, CA umpire-in-chief. He umpired in two National and three World Championships, served as UIC for eight national championships and three Sports Festivals. While national director, the National Indicator Fraternity, the Umpire Medals program, the National Umpire School program and the Umpire Uniform program were instigated. Butler gave clinics in 41 different states.
Butler also serves as the ISF Director of Umpires and has furthered the development of umpiring internationally through clinics in 26 countries and in each of the six international regions. He had served as UIC for 23 World Championships, the 1996 Olympics, 2000 Olympics and the 2004 Olympics. He was inducted into the ISF Hall of Fame in 1993. Butler was born on November 28, 1935 and passed away January 6, 2008. He was 72.
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