Harry Rudolph

About This Inductee

Harry actually got his officiating start quite by accident in 1929. He was watching a high school practice session one day and the referee didn‘t show up. The principal asked him to help out. He gave it a try and found he liked it. A few days later he obtained a job referring at the local YMCA to gain some experience. His first pro assignment was in the old New York-Penn League in 1930. The following year Harry branched out into baseball, umpiring in the Wyoming League. He next passed the state board exam for basketball, baseball and football officials and the national tests in 1935. His busiest year as a basketball referee was the 1936-37 season with 123 games. In 1937 he worked as a substitute umpire in the Eastern League and two years later debuted in the Canadian-American League. During the 1944 season, he moved to baseball‘s American Association and in 1946 moved to the Sally League. Harry retired from umpiring at the end of that season. He served as a physical instructor at the local Jewish Community Center from 1942-53, taking a leave of absence to try to bring minor league baseball back to Wilkes-Barre. He became the general manager of the Barons until Detroit took the franchise to Augusta in 1955. Harry’s son Mendy followed in his footsteps. They operated as a father-and-son officiating team in more than 125 games. Harry also served as commissioner of the EBL, whose eight professional teams constituted the NBA‘s eastern farm club. One of the eight teams, Wilkes-Barre Barons dominated the Eastern league in the 1950s and won many championships. Harry passed away in 1972.