Little League Controversy Leaves Dowd on the Bench

Wednesday, July 4, 2012
By Cary Shuman

Jack Dowd

Jack Dowd served as a coach, umpire-in-chief, board member and volunteer in the Winthrop Little League for 26 years but his association with the league ended last Thursday when he was dismissed from the organization by the board of directors.

League president David Leslie confirmed in a telephone interview that Dowd had been dismissed from the board of directors, saying Dowd’s “conduct was detrimental to Winthrop Little League.”

The issue stems from a difference in interpretation about the selection process for the All-Star players who represent Winthrop Little League in the District 16 Williamsport Tournament.

“They said I didn’t conform to protocol in the complaint about the board of directors’ handling of the election for the Williamsport All-Star team this year,” Dowd said. “I was in charge of the election process this year and it was different than in past years.”

Dowd said that twelve players were originally selected to the Winthrop All-Star team. When one of the players decided not to accept a berth on the team, the next highest vote getter was bypassed for the vacancy on the team.

“The board decided to have twelve players,” said Dowd. “After the vote was over, one boy that was elected decided not to play and then they added two more players for a total of 14. They decided to replace one player and add two players without consulting the list.”

Dowd said he has the full support of the player’s family in the matter. He has received a note of gratitude from the player’s relatives for his efforts on the player’s behalf.

Dowd said at last Thursday’s meeting he requested that the board of directors take an open vote on his dismissal. “I asked for a vote while I was present at the meeting but they said they wouldn’t do that, that they would do it in private. I’m not exactly sure what the vote was but I would like to find out that information.”

Dowd feels the dismissal was out of order in respect to his ardent efforts to maintain the integrity of the All-Star selection process.

“I went out on a limb to protect that child and I’m being disciplined for it,” said Dowd. “I wanted to help this boy and I’m being dismissed for that.”

Dowd said that volunteerism is at “an all-time low” in Winthrop Little League.

“At one Little League meeting of team managers and coaches, [President] David Leslie asked for volunteers to put the batting cage’s net up for safety reasons, and not one person volunteered,” said Dowd.

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