Dyer, Herbert (1989)
Herb Dyer could hit and he could umpire and he did both with real authority. And he brought dignity and class to the diamond.
Born into an athletic family and gifted with good size, he carved a good record at South Portland High School. As a 16 year old football candidate he was listed at 6’0”, and described as “‘fast, big and clever” despite 190 pounds, and “tremendously powerful.” While he participated on the gridiron and basketball court it was as a slugging first-baseman for the Red Riots that he excelled. He was an All-Telegram selection in 1937 and 1938, and was crowned batting champion in 1937 with a lofty .459 average. At South Portland, he was coached by Bill Macomber and Wayne Roberts and was a teammate of scrappy Frankie Rivers. Herb will now join Roberts and Rivers in the Hall. While in high school he performed summers in the south Portland Twilight League where he also gained a batting title.
In 1939, Herbie finished a second successful summer in the Boston Park League, where he hit .441 for the St. Augustine team.
Not surprising, he was an all-star selection in this prestigious summer circuit. This performance earned him a farm contract from the Boston Red Sox to whom he had been recommended by Joe “Jabber” Joyce (Maine Hall of Fame ‘75). The young Dyer opened his pro career at Rocky Mt. North Carolina in the Piedmont League but after a couple of weeks joined the Centreville club, Herb was shifted to the outfield and was noted for long hitting.
Whether Herb would have progressed through the Bosox chain we will never know because shortly after his inaugural season he was involved in a critical auto accident. A fractured jaw, broken leg, and assorted injuries short-circuited his career.
Herb enjoyed 34 years as a Western Maine umpire and countless box scores show: Umps: H. Dyer and D. Dyer because he often teamed with his brother Don and they were dependable, hustling members of the Board. Herb often served on the exam committee where he helped many budding arbiters.
Herb and his wife recently celebrated their 46th anniversary and have daughter, Bonnie Lee Babine, and son, Gary Merle and two grandchildren.