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Maxie Scheff, Mr. Softball

Let's face it. It's not often you can find anyone with kind words to say about a baseball umpire.

They make decisions about balls and strikes and who's safe and who's out, and if you take exception to their rulings, they'll toss you out of the game.

Which is one of the reasons why Downsview's Max ("Maxie") Scheff is so remarkable. He possibly umpired more softball and baseball games in Ontario than anyone else in the latter half of the 20th century, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone with an unkind word to say about him.

Maxie, second from right, with the Yolles-Herzls Softball Team, 1932. Ontario Jewish Archives, accession 2006-8-7.

Maxie Scheff was born in Toronto in 1910. He grew up on Montrose