I was checking the obituaries in Saturday morning’s paper and I saw where we lost another real good person from our local sports community…..
Babe Wilhoit has passed on, and this fine gentleman saw his share of passed balls and wild pitches over the years and to me, he was always a professional and he really cared about the kids and wanted to see them get a fair shake and improve their skills.
Mr. Wilhoit was 70 years old and probably umpired baseball and softball for over 35 years. I first ran into him, when I was coaching girls high school softball back in the 80’s and I was impressed with his fairness and the way he would explain the game. He called school ball and recreation ball and as I said, he did a very good job of explaining what was going on and he had a voice that was fair, friendly and understandable.
In his time, and I never got to see him play, the word is he was one outstanding baseball player and that is how he got the name ‘Babe’. He is the only Wilhoit that was given that name and there were many fine baseball players from the Wilhoit family; including Babe’s son Kevin who played at Southern Guilford and nephews Daniel, David and Randy; all of whom played at Western Guilford.
Babe’s son Kevin was tall and lean, in some ways much like his dad and Kevin also played basketball at Southern Guilford….I do believe Mr. Babe Wilhoit also officiated basketball, but I remember him most from those warm days in the Spring back in the 80’s at many a softball and baseball game.
He lived over off of Rehoebeth Church road right near the Shannon Woods Chapel and that is where he went to church, if I’m not mistaken.
I’m sure if you brought up his name to Wayne Bulter, Don Tilley or Tom Shalley, the gurus of the Greensboro Parks and Recreation offices for many years, I’m sure that they all would speak highly of Babe Wilhoit and they all would have something good to say about him.
He sure called quite a few games over the years and we would like to say that he was a steadying influence at those softball and baseball and games and you never minded seeing him pulling up to the parking lot and unloading his equipment from the car on game days…..
Thanks Mr. Wilhoit, for being a good friend to all of those at the ball fields….