As umpires, we are considered to be members of a fraternity of brothers in blue.
When it came to Steve Austin, he was a brother to everyone.
Steve was an ex-Marine who was bigger than life, tough and stubborn when he had to be, but, more often than not, a simple, oversized teddy bear.
His passion for umpiring baseball games and officiating sports activities was so very genuine. And that was because of his love of athletics. More importantly to Steve, his love for the youth who competed on the same courts and fields he worked.
As an official— and, especially as an umpire — it was Steve’s goal to make the games better. And, if possible, to make his officiating and umpiring brothers better at their craft.
I was honored to have been Steve’s varsity basketball officiating partner along with Bill Ripple for a few seasons, and his long-time high school umpiring partner. And I know that whenever I miss a call here on earth, he’s up in heaven growling at me.
I love you, Brother Steve. You are missed by your fraternity, and will never be forgotten.
~Howie Beardsley, Steve Austin Memorial Board Member and long time friend