LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Tony Gerbitz is beloved by many. His wife, two children, co-workers at University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, and the entirety of the Hillcrest softball community.

For 33 years, Gerbitz has dedicated six days a week to umpiring. Setting aside time to arrive to the field hours before the game to paint lines, set out helmets and bats, dust off the plates and rake.

“Tony means more to Hillcrest Everett softball than I could even put into words.” Hillcrest Softball commissioner Lizzie Chandler explained. “He’s out here, tirelessly, every night. He always has a smile for us, no matter what time or how long he’s been out here”.

Gerbitz says the reason he has umpired for so long is both for the love of the game and the players.

“The biggest thing for me is seeing each one of them get a hit,” Gerbitz said.

And while Tony may be retiring soon, his legacy will live in the ballpark forever.

“When he leaves here there will be big shoes to fill, and I’m not sure that we could do that.” Chandler stated. “It would have to be a different league after that point.”