Carl Lake, described as a fixture in Newfoundland baseball and an ambassador sports for the province, died early Wednesday in St. John’s after a lengthy battle with cancer.
His wife Debby revealed her husband’s death in a Facebook post that both shared her emotion and spoke of his love of baseball and Boston-based sports teams.
“My world is shattered. My heart is breaking, “ she wrote. “The center of my world has gone where every day the sun is shining, there is a baseball game that needs an umpire, the Bruins are beating the Habs, the Red Sox are winning the World Series again and the Celtics are champs.”
An umpire for 53 years, Lake had been inducted into the Baseball Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame in 2006. He had continued to work despite illness and it was less than three months ago that he officially worked his last game.
Bernard Davis, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Recreation, played and coached in the St. John’s Senior Baseball League, where Lake had officiated countless contests.
Davis issued a statement on Lake’s death, which read, in part:
“A pillar in our provincial sporting scene, Mr. Lake could always be found at his beloved St. Pat’s Ballpark in St. John’s, where he was a fixture on the base paths or behind home plate – umpiring local games, provincial contests and national championships for over 50 years,” said Davis.
“Mr. Lake was a true ambassador for our province’s sporting scene. Mr. Lake was a proud husband, father and grandfather; a true gentleman who will certainly be missed.
“The sporting community in Newfoundland and Labrador mourns his passing.”
Lake’s involvement in local sports went far beyond the baseball diamond. He was a sports broadcaster at both VOCM and CBC, had worked as a host for Cable Atlantic (now Rogers TV) televised broadcasts of American Hockey League games in St. John’s, and was founder and operator of The Sports Page, a website devoted to sports in the province.
Lake had posted stories on the website up until three weeks ago, and had entries on his own Facebook site until just days ago. One of his last Facebook posts was a picture of him and Howie Meeker, who died Nov. 8. Lake and Meeker had been sports broadcasting contemporaries who both worked at CBC.