7 July 2006

Curly Clement dies

Robert "Curly" Clement, a Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Famer and umpiring legend, died June 29 at Hampton Healthcare Center in Hampton, N.H. He was 86.

The charismatic Clement was an umpire for four decades and was inducted into the CCBL Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Amateur Baseball Umpires Hall of Fame.

A native of Manchester, N.H., he had a long career in college baseball, umpiring in 16 NCAA Regionals, 12 ECAC baseball Tournaments and two NCAA College World Series.

"Curly was truly an ambassador of the Cape League," said CCBL President Judy Walden Scarafile. "He will be sorely missed by those who knew him; however, he will be missed more by those who never had the chance to know him."

Clement began his umpiring career in the 1950s and realized a dream in 1979 when he umpired a major league game at Fenway Park during the umpires' strike, even calling out Carl Yastrzemski on an attempted steal.

Clement was affectionately known as the Candy Man for settling arguments on the field with a handful of sugar-coated licorice.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, his son Don Clement, his daughter Gail Wiley and their families. Services will be in Exeter, N.H.

Clement was remembered July 4th weekend with a moment of silence and flag flying at half-mast before each game.