PUNXSUTAWNEY — There are a few essentials to play a baseball game. First, you need certain equipment — a ball, a bat, gloves — and then, you need a certain number of players to field the positions, from pitchers to catchers and infielders and outfielders.
But if you’re going to play an official game, there’s one more person you need to have ready and willing — the umpire. And for the past 50 years, one local man has been serving the youth of Punxsutawney and the surrounding area by suiting up in the gray pants and blue shirt and giving his all as an official.
After Thursday night’s varsity baseball game between Punxsy and Brookville, Sam Bevak was honored by members of the District 9 Committee, who presented him with a plaque to honor the golden achievement.
Sam was joined at the ceremony by his wife, Sandy, who he said is the one who has kept him going for all these years. She even managed to make sure that the event remained a surprise for him, working behind the scenes with committee members. While his bio was read, players from both teams stood on their respective foul lines to show their appreciation.