: Harold Crozier was one of the best umpires in both baseball and cricket and was classed as the number one umpire in FNC cricket in the 1970s.
: Harold Crozier was one of the best umpires in both baseball and cricket and was classed as the number one umpire in FNC cricket in the 1970s. contributed

Harold's always pitch perfect

HAROLD Crozier made a number of appearances in the Queensland state team, playing in the Claxton Shield, while his off field achievements could almost overshadow what he did on field.

These included 24 years on the Lismore and District Sports Trust, as well as life membership of the Easts Cricket Club, Far North Coast Umpires Association and FNC Baseball.

He was secretary of FNC Baseball from 1960 to 1962 and president of the association from 1963 to 1965.

Crozier was one of the best umpires in both baseball and cricket and was classed as the number one umpire in FNC cricket in the 1970s.

He was also an avid supporter of junior sports and was one of the pioneering coaches of junior softball in the area.

Crozier retired from baseball in 1973 at the age of 41 and after an illustrious career, but did not leave the game, taking up umpiring when the association was short of experienced umpires.

He took to the field again two years later, this time suiting up for Workers.

Workers were a young and inexperienced team, not winning a game in the minor rounds, but under Crozier's guidance the team went on to play in the 1975 grand final.

Crozier made one more return to baseball, aged 72, to play alongside his son David, for the Ballina Sharks.

He played for two years, finishing a great sporting career by winning the grand final in the second year.

After retiring for good, Crozier and my father Reg Baxter - a lifelong friend - could be found every Saturday afternoon sitting behind the screen at home plate on Baxter Field.

Theycould be heard analysing the game's progress, where the pitcher should pitch the ball to particular batters, and what the coach should be doing in certain situations during the game.

In the majority of cases they were correct in their thinking. Not bad for a couple of80 year olds.

One of Crozier's lifelong ambitions was to witness a World Series in the US.

When he was 21 years old he took out a life insurance policy to cover the costs associated with the trip. After much trouble he was finally connected to the right person in New York who helped him fulfill his dream.

He went with fellow baseballer Barry Wappett and witnessed the Boston Red Sox playing the Cincinnati Reds in 1975 in one of the all-time best series up to that point.

Crozier's contributions to sport was rewarded when he was honoured with the naming of a field in Lismore after him - Crozier Oval.

Much of Crozier's achievements can be attributed to him having a very understanding wife, Nan, who was a vital part of his sporting life.

The couple had a son, David, and two daughters, Linda and Joanne. Now there are also six grandchildren.

Crozier has suffered some health problems in recent years, including losing his leg, but still makes his way to baseball in Lismore.

His contribution to local sport, on and off the field, has been immeasurable and put many young baseballers and cricketers on the road to success.



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