Local sports legend to be honored with Gill Stadium plaque on Thursday

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Ray Valliere Sr. Submitted photo

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Next Thursday night, a ceremony will be held at Gill Stadium to honor local baseball and softball legend Raymond “Ray” Valliere Sr.

In 1947, his family enrolled him in what is now Trinity High School and he lettered in baseball, basketball and football until graduation in 1951. He then joined the Navy and served in the Korean War before returning to Manchester.

Soon, he earned degrees from what is now Southern New Hampshire University and the University of New Hampshire and worked at the New Hampshire Union Leader and eventually City of Manchester’s Office of Youth Services.

He also returned to the world of Manchester youth baseball, playing a key role in Sweeney Post’s trip to the American League World Series in 1968 as well as serving as an umpire with the New Hampshire Baseball Umpires Association and eventually the New Hampshire Softball Umpires Association. To date, Valliere is the only person to umpire in each of the four divisional New Hampshire state championship games in baseball and softball.

Valliere was named to the New Hampshire Softball Umpires Association Hall of Fame in 2000, was named USA Baseball Umpire of the Year in 1987, umpired at the 1984 Babe Ruth World Series, the 1990 Goodwill Games and was selected to umpire at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, which he could not attend due to heart surgery.

He also served as the Umpire in Chief of the International Baseball Association from 1992 to 1997.

A ceremony commemorating plaques at the stadium will be held near the main entrance to the stadium’s grandstands at 5:30, followed by an American Legion baseball game between Sweeney Post and Keene’s Gordon Bissell Post at 6.

About this Author

andrewsylvia

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.