LOWVILLE — For nearly 40 years, Daniel Salmon has overseen Little League operations throughout the largest of the 132 districts geographically on the East Coast.
“In 1985 I was the assistant administrator, when Joe Chirico passed away suddenly while attending a Little League game in Glens Falls,” Mr. Salmon recalled. “What I thought would be a few years as an administrator has turned into a lifetime love of the program.”
Mr. Salmon explained District No. 37 NYS encompasses 12 states and he is also coordinator for Section 2 which encompasses eight districts in the state.
The section is from Rome East to Plattsburgh north, and encompasses Albany, Schenectady, Glens Falls, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and all of the areas in between.
As coordinator, Mr. Salmon oversees the sectional tournaments for teams that advance from the district level. In the district, he oversees the 10 leagues from Pulaski to Plattsburgh.
“I deal with the issues that come up in the course of the year and oversee the district tournament,” he said, noting he has been re-elected 11 times with opposition just once. “I guide new presidents when they are elected, and am the liaison to Little League East Region in Bristol, Connecticut.”
The highlights of his service to the Little League association are the friendships created, locally, statewide and nationwide.
Mr. Salmon said Little League has an International Congress every four years.
“At that time District Administrators from all over the world convene to re examine the program and make necessary changes,” he explained. “Worldwide there is approximately 450 districts.”
Sometimes celebrities have been in attendance at theses gatherings including Joe Garogolia, Nolan Ryan, Bowie Kuhn, Tom Seaver, Tommy John, Brett Musberger, Stan Musial and both George Bush senior and junior.
The district administrator said there have been some tough times when unpopular situations have occurred but must be adhered to based on the rules of the program.
“I have always tried to figure out a way to make a painful situation as unpainful as I can,” he said. “The thing I get the biggest kick out of is the smile on a child’s face, when they accomplish something for their team. When I see a tear from a child at the end of the season because it’s over, or they have been eliminated from the tournament, I realize and understand that it is healthy, and I know from experience that Little League will instill in them memories that will last a lifetime.”
Mr. Salmon noted Little League is important because it is about the community.
“Many parents cannot afford for their children to play travel ball which is the new fad, and so Little League is for the entire community no matter who you are,” he said. “Little League has structured rules, boundaries for each league, and age structure.”
Mr. Salmon, the manager at W. B. Payne Insurance Co., Lowville, has been a member of the Lowville Lions Club for 20 years, serving as past secretary treasurer and president. He was the village mayor from 1995 to 2003 and is currently on the village board as a trustee and the deputy mayor.
Besides his involvement with Little League, he has been a high school football official for 43 years on the Watertown Football Board of officials and was the first official on the board from Lewis County. He has also officiated girls basketball for 35 years.
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