Year Inducted: 1983
Frank was born October 21, 1907, in Port Huron and was a Port Huron resident all his life. He graduated from Port Huron High School and attended Port Huron Junior College and then Western Michigan University, where he and Willard Blackney were roommates. Though he worked at many jobs and at many plants, and also was the owner of Fitzgerald’s Men’s Wear in Port Huron and Marysville, Frank is best known for the hundreds, maybe thousands, of athletic events he officiated.
A striped shirt was as much Frank Fitzgerald’s uniform as a shirt and tie is to most men. Frank officiated football, basketball, baseball and softball games for all age groups, both men and women, in daylight and at night, in local, district, regional, and state competitions. He worked with many partners. He and Jack O’Reilly were an inseparable officiating team right up until the moment of Jack’s death. Frank then worked with former National league umpire Frank Secory and with former Major League Baseball player Jim Gosger. He was also a familiar partner of Lysle Smith, Francis Jacobson and Bob Keefe.
Frank was a common figure on the high school fields and courts of St. Clair County and was often called on to interpret rules and recall incidents in games which had occurred in years past. A friend of youth and a man who spent a lifetime working with and for young people, Frank died August 6, 1981.
The “Frank Fitzgerald Industrial Slow Pitch Tournament” is conducted annually in Port Huron in Frank’s memory.