The Obit For Hank Soar

Longtime AL umpire Hank Soar dies at 87

.c The Associated Press

AP-NY-12-26-01 1442EST

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) - Hank Soar, a longtime American League umpire who worked at five World Series and a standout football player for the New York Giants earlier in his career, died at age 87.

He died Monday at a family home in Pawtucket.

Soar was an AL umpire from 1950-75, finishing up as a league supervisor of officials before retiring.

He was the first base umpire in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series when New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen pitched a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Soar also umpired at three All-Star games.

For the Giants from 1937-46, Soar played several positions and was in five championship games, becoming the hero in 1938. Soar caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Ed Danowski that clinched the 23-17 victory over Green Bay, the Giants' only title while Soar was with the team.

In the majors, players rarely questioned his calls.

``There was no hemming and hawing when Hank was umpiring,'' former Boston Red Sox third baseman Frank Malzone said Tuesday. ``Hank called plays the way he saw them. He was always fair and never held a grudge.''

Soar won all-state honors in football, baseball and basketball in high school in Pawtucket.

He played football for two years at Providence College (1934-35). The next year he played for the Boston Shamrocks of the American Football League, earning MVP honors and getting the attention of the Giants.