There is sadness on the fields of Mudville this week. Not because the might Casey has struck out but because a friend, colleague, mentor, and former leader of PHBA’s Blue Crew community and Umpire Leadership Team has called their last ball game.

On Sunday past, Shawn Draper, a charter member of the Umpire Leadership Team, and a 12-year Gold Elite member of the Blue Crew, passed away suddenly at his home. Shawn was a dedicated, committed, and solid PHBA umpire whose advocacy, behavior, conduct, and leadership exemplified what it was to be an umpire at PHBA. As one of the founding members of the Umpire Leadership Team, his guidance, wisdom, and experience were instrumental in the ULT’s efforts and success to improve the caliber and professionalism of PHBA’s Blue Crew for the kids.

The Blue Crew community, his friends and colleagues on the Umpire Leadership Team extend our deepest heartfelt condolences to Colette and the entire Draper family. The dedication and devotion he gave to PHBA’s Blue Crew paled in comparison to the love and devotion for his family. Words are small consolation for the loss they are feeling. His like will not pass this way again. It is a sad day on the fields of Mudville.

Hail and Farewell, Shawn. Fair Winds and Following Seas, Old Friend. You will be missed.