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Taylor makes ASA trip from Alaska

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Aug. 6, 2001
If anybody might have felt homesick in the 2001 ASA 16-Under National Tournament last weekend, it could have been Valinda Taylor.
Taylor came to Meridian as an umpire from Fairbanks, Alaska, and no, she doesn't live in an igloo in the 49th state.
Getting selected to call games here wasn't as difficult as it might sound, although it is an honor to be asked to officiate in the national tournaments.
When Taylor was invited to come to Meridian and umpire, she made the long trip, turning down a shorter umpiring job in a fast-pitch tournament in either Oregon or Washington.
She has enjoyed a brief return to the South after spending some of her earlier years in Alabama. Even with the mugginess and heat of August, Taylor said she was enjoying herself in Meridian.
She has spent most of her life in Alaska.
Other umpires who came a long way for the tournament were Herb Leiser of Washougal, Wash., Joe Russo of La Quinta, Cal., Manuel Joia of Apple Valley, Cal., and Lynne La Tona of Buffalo, N.Y.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@themeridianstar.com or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3234.