Hampden native Troy Lare can cross off the activity at the top of his bucket list.
Lare found out this week that he has been chosen to umpire at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, from August 16-26.
Lare will be just the third umpire from eastern Maine chosen to work the series after Chris Parker (2009) and Harry Dalton (1964).
He is one of two local umpires who landed a spot in a World Series as Joe Ouellette, who grew up in Old Town, will work the Intermediate World Series in Livermore, California, from July 27-Aug. 5.
“I’m excited. I’ve been waiting a long time for this…..ever since I was a 12-year-old playing Little League,” said Lare. “It’s going to be a great time.”
Ouellette said he is looking forward to his World Series and admitted it was “unexpected.
“I was kind of surprised,” said Ouellette.
There isn’t an Intermediate League (ages 11-13) in Maine District 3. It is a league between Little League (ages 9-12) and Senior League (13-16) with a distance of 50 feet from the mound to the plate and 70 feet between the bases.
The distance from the mound to the plate in Little League is 46 feet and in Senior League it is 60 feet, 6 inches. The distance between the bases is 60 feet in Little League and 90 feet in Senior League.
“(The dimensions) will be new to me but the baseball will be the same,” said Ouellette. “One of my umpire friends is out there so it will be exciting to see him again.”
Lare and Ouellette have impressive resumes.
The 52-year-old Lare, who now lives in Hermon, worked the Big League (ages 16-18) World Series in Easley, South Carolina, in 2015 after doing the Asia-Pacific Little League Regional in Guam in 2011; the East Regional in Bristol, Connecticut, in 2009 and the Senior League East Regional in New Jersey in 2005.
The 45-year-old Ouellette umpired at the Little League East Regionals in Bristol, Conn., in 2016; at the Junior League World Series in Taylor, Michigan, in 2013 and at the Junior League Eastern Regional in New Jersey in 2009.
Lare umpires high school and college games during the spring and then does American Legion games and Little League All-Star games during the late spring/early summer. He also trains new umpires and is the assistant umpire-in-chief for District 3 under Chris Parker.
The last two summers, Lare has also spent a week doing Cape Cod League games.
The Cape Cod League features some of the best college players in the country.
Ouellette umpires high school and middle school games as well as all levels within District 3. He even did a few softball games last summer due to an umpire shortage.
Lare said the Little League level is his favorite because “the kids are pure. They just love to play.”
He said there is more pressure umpiring games in older age groups because the players are “trying to make an impression.”
“Little League is much more fun to do,” said Lare who got started in umpiring when he was playing at Hampden Academy because his coach, Mike Connolly, encouraged his players to get involved in umpiring or coaching at the youth league level. That was in 1980.
Lare, who is a long-time Bangor firefighter, stopped umpiring for five years after graduating from Hampden Academy and wound up playing slow-pitch softball.
“But I missed the game so I got back into umpiring,” said Lare, a former catcher who was an umpire supervisor for the Senior League World Series when it was in Bangor.
Ouellette, who is a delivery driver for Merrill Furniture in Ellsworth and now lives in Brewer, began umpiring after graduating from Old Town High School and got certified to do high school games 10 years ago.
“It has kept me involved in the game and I also enjoy teaching the game to the kids when I’m sitting in the dugout and have some spare time,” said Ouellette.
Follow BDN Maine Sports on Facebook for the latest in Maine high school and college sports.