Alan Gorfin

Alan Gorfin

Died March 31, 2006

Alan Gorfin was a mathematics teacher by trade but a baseball umpire at heart.

He pursued medical education at Downstate Medical Center for one year after Yale, then earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Massachusetts, where he met his wife, Bonnie.

In 1972 Alan became a teacher at Longmeadow High School in Massachusetts. After 13 years at Longmeadow, he became a member of the Mathematics Department at Western New England College where he taught for the rest of his life.

Alan also served as a treasurer for the Storrs Library in Longmeadow and the Sinai Temple in Springfield and was on the board of Jewish Family Service, which had helped the family adopt their son, Adam. But he spent his springs and summers as an umpire for high school level baseball games throughout western Massachusetts.

Growing up in the Bronx during the Yankees’ glory days, Alan was a baseball fan, but his fascination for the game “was based on the fact that there were endless permutations,” Bonnie says.

As a member of the Western Massachusetts Baseball Umpires Association, he didn’t just umpire games. He trained other umpires, assigned them to summer league games, and adjudicated disputes over rules. “That actually became more his full-time job,” his son, Adam says.

Umpiring is a thankless job, but when Alan passed away after a battle with cancer on March 31, 2006, one of his students at Western New England wrote, “it is always difficult to find quality umpires like Alan.” That’s probably because, as one of his fellow professors wrote, “Alan has got to be the fairest person I know.”