Longtime official and umpire Don Murdzia of Bellingham was honored by the Washington State Senate on Feb. 17.
Senate Resolution 8707 recognized and honored Murdzia “for his tremendous passion, dedication and devotion towards the sports which continue to shape and inspire our youth in Washington State.”
Murdzia graduated from Ferndale High School and lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track and field his senior year. In 1959 he began umpiring and expanded his officiating career to football and basketball in 1963.
In 1977, Murdzia received the Dave Duvall Meritorious Service Award for outstanding service to the Northwest Interscholastic Activities Association, and he later received the CJ Mitchell Umpire Service Award and was inducted into the Washington State Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001.
All told, he has officiated more than 8,200 games.
Murdzia, now 76, still serves as a baseball umpire and plans to return to officiating football next fall after hip revision surgery in September, though he did retire from basketball after 53 years.
The resolution was sponsored by State Senators Doug Eriksen, Michael Baumgartner, Don Benton, Christine Rolfes, Andy Billig, Mark Mullet, Mike Padden, Kevin Ranker, Rosemary McAuliffe and Karen Fraser.