Friday, June 10, 2016

Barry Jordan takes his love of little league to the top - By Michelle Libby

When Barry Jordan posed for a picture for the 1967 Windham Little League team, he didn’t realize that he was starting something that would keep him involved with baseball long into the future. The first baseman, catcher and pitcher, hasn’t played for 30 plus years, but now he has been elected to serve as the New England Regional Commissioner and a member of the International Board of Directors of Babe Ruth League, Inc. 

Baseball has been part of many boys’ lives over the years. Jordan has an impressive resume when it comes to the league. 

Jordan has umpired four World Series for teams in the Cal Ripkin Babe Ruth league and has been umpire chief for two 13-year-old series, he said. He will be the tournament director for 16-year-old softball World Series at the end of July in Florida. He has also been the press box coordinator for softball tournaments, which includes working with the media, coordinating schedules, stats, trophies and coordinating the choosing of player of the tournament. When the details are for a 15-team tournament, it takes skill to be in charge and Jordan has it. 1999, Jordan was named the State Commissioner of Maine for the Cal Ripkin Division for 5-to 12-year-olds. In 2005, he added on becoming the State Commissioner for all of softball and in 2010 he pulled a hat trick and became the assistant regional commissioner for Babe Ruth softball for all ages. He did all of these jobs at once. 

He also was a volunteer. He did not get paid for any of the work he did. They did help him cover his expenses when traveling. 

“It’s my fulltime volunteer job,” he said with a chuckle. 

His new position is the New England Regional Commissioner for all of Babe Ruth, boys and girls. He was voted in by the 17 member International Board of Directors, which he is now a part of. He is also on the National Rules Committee, he said. 

The road to the new position has been a big adventure. Getting to know others and networking has helped him grow from umpiring regional and state tournaments to being asked to move up.
“Of all the guys in Maine, he asked me,” he said, describing himself as a big advocate for the kids. “We’ve grown every year since we’ve been doing it.” 

He doesn’t have to do all of the work alone. He has three assistant regional commissioners and 20 state commissioners all across New England. 

“I use the chain of command very appropriately and 90 percent is taken care of before it gets to me. It’s not a job you can do by yourself,” Jordan said. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of an organization. You have to listen to them,” he added. 

Recently Jordan helped to run a coaches clinic at Fenway Park in Boston. “I was standing on the first base dugout addressing the coaches at a clinic,” he said. That was one of the perks of being in his position. 

July will be the busiest month for him with five regional softball, six Cal Ripkin regional and four Babe Ruth regional tournaments. Maine will host the 14-year-old regional softball tournament in Harrison and the boys 14-year-old Babe Ruth New England tournament will be in Skowhegan.
Baseball builds teamwork and an overall positive attitude like all sports do. Players learn respect and knowledge of the game, said Jordan. He added that “coaches have a lot of do with a good experience.”

“You’ve got to love the kid when he’s successful and love the kid when he fails. Batting .400 you’re failing 60 percent of the time,” he said. 
Jordan’s fulltime job is as a mortgage loan officer for a bank. He travels to Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Florida, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, but calls Sebago home. 

Babe Ruth President/CEO Steve Tellefsen said in an interview in February, “Babe Ruth volunteer board members serve countless hours working to make sure our participants are provided with the very best educational, sports experience possible. They develop policies and ensure that all decisions made help our youth develop into successful and productive adults. We are proud to have Barry Jordan join our board. His actions alone have taught many people, young and old the value and importance of hard work, community pride, honor and integrity.”

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