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March 24, 1989 - Image 51

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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On The
Ball

Former umpire Dave Dashow
remains an active sports
collector.

MIKE ROSENBAUM

Sports Writer

III f things were different,
Dave Dashow of Hun-
tington Woods might
be a retired major
league umpire, five
years past the mandatory
retirement age of 62.
After World War II, when
Dashow left the service, he at-
tended Harry Wendelstadt's
umpire school in Florida.
Passing the tests at that
prestigious school puts an
umpire on a path to a profes-
sional job, and possibly the
major leagues. "That could've
been a turning point," says
Dashow. Unfortunately,
Dashow's parents insisted he
ON'
finish college, so he had to
leave the school before taking
the tests.
-
Dashow, who was a working
hardball umpire at age 13 in
Chicago sandlot leagues,
worked major league exhibi-
tion games between the
Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston
Braves while in the service,
stationed in Atlanta.
One of Dashow's first stops
when he came to Detroit in
fr— 1948 was a sporting goods
store, where he bought a com-
plete umpire's outfit. He
became an accredited umpire
in Michigan and worked for
36 years, doing high school
baseball as well as softball
games.
Despite his long career,
Dashow regrets not getting
his shot at professional
baseball. "My love is there,"
he says of baseball. "My wife
knows it. I know it and my
children know it. I'm a
(jewelry) salesman. I'm happy
to be a salesman. I'm a good
salesman. I feel that I
could've been a fantastic um-
pire in the same style and
with the same feeling as Ron
Luciano, who I always
emulated."
Former big league umpire
Luciano was known for his
flamboyance on the field. He
loved the game and did not
try to hide it while he work-

r

ed. Dashow also admired
former major league umpire
Emmet Ashford. "He showed
the public that umpiring
doesn't have to be a serious
thing, yet (he can) be dutiful
and know what he's doing.
Even though he could clown
around, he knew when to
clown around."
Dashow expresses his love
for baseball as easily as he
does for his umpiring heroes.
He stays close to the -major

While some fans
try to contact
visiting players
during the season,
Dashow contacts
the umpires. "They
were the lucky
ones. They made
it. I didn't. But I
can at least smell
the roses."

league game by collecting
autographed baseballs and by
communicating with the
umpires.
"I am very familiar with all
the umpires in the major
leagues," he says. "I still cor-
respond with them. I see
them at the baseball games.
They are my friends."
While some fans try to con-
tact visiting players during
the season, Dashow contacts
the umpires. "I try to pick
them up every so often at
their hotel to take them to
the games, to show them that
I not only like them, but to be
able to show them that I ap-
preciate that they give us this
sport. They were the lucky
ones. They made it. I didn't.
But I can at least smell the
roses. When I'm next to these
guys I feel like I'm part of this
whole situation.
"And when I go to the
ballgames, at . the end of the
game, if I see a an umpire do a
bad job I tell that umpire that
I think he did a bad job. But
if he did a good job, I'm the
first one to rave."

Dave Dashow calls the shots in front of his basebal collection.

Dashow, a salesman with
Shifrin-Willen Jewelers in
Detroit, is retired from umpir-
ing, although he does an occa-
sional charity softball game.
He did four games in 1987,
none last year and plans to do
two this summer. When he
retires from Shifrin's, he says
he may return to umpiring
"after I lose a little weight."
He would come back for "en-
joyment and for dollars and
cents."
The highlights of Dashow's
umpiring career include "see-
ing kids grow up . . . seeing
the kids go to summer
baseball, seeing the reactions
on their faces." In softball, he
cites his seven years of work
in Oak Park and the five
games he has worked for the
traveling "King and his
Court" team, led by fast-pitch
softball legend Eddie Feigner.
"He has given me an award
for a very fine job done," says

Dashow. When Feigner asks
him to do a game now,
Dashow tells him, "'I'm get-
ting old.' He says he is, too.
That doesn't mean anything?'
Dashow's other baseball-
inspired passion, collecting,
continues. His main interests
are autographed baseballs
and baseball books. His base-
ment is a mini-museum, with
almost 600 of his 1,000
baseballs in glass display
eases, along with scattered
footballs, basketballs, pic-
tures, pennants and other
memorabilia. He "dabbles" in
card collecting. Some of his
books occupy a shelf next to
the display cases. His main
library is in an upstairs den,
along with his stamp
collection.
Dashow says he is one of six
people who has every baseball
stamp ever issued, worldwide.
The others include ex-Tigers
Rusty Staub and Rusty

Kuntz. Dashow checks lists of
stamps published in baseball
collecting magazines and pur-
chases any new stamps which
have anything to do with
baseball.
Among. Dashow's collection
is an orange baseball sent to
him by Charley Finley, the
former owner of the Oakland
A's who wanted the major
leagues to switch to the
brightly-colored balls.
Dashow's ball was borrowed
by former St. Louis Cardinal
star Lou Brock before the
1987 old-timers game bet-
ween players from the 1968
Tigers and Cardinals. The
ball was used for a publicity
photo session, autographed,
then returned to Dashow.
Another of his favorite
baseballs, given to him by
Tiger ace Jack Morris; was
used in Morris' 1984
no-hitter.
Dashow, who follows the

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

51

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