By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Larry Gallagher was a top-notch athlete growing up in Columbia Heights, and along the way he started umpiring baseball games.

Nearly 60 years since his first game, he’s still doing it almost every day. At 73 years old, he works about 150 games a year.

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“Every game is a challenge,” he said. “And now as I’m getting older, there aren’t many challenges for somebody my age and this is one of them – making decisions on the field. Baseball brings you so many different opportunities.”

He has one room that pays tribute to his days on the diamond.

As a young umpire in college, Mike Max worked a couple games with Larry and never forgot it. Gallagher carefully inspected fellow umpires to make sure the attire was in proper shape.

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According to Gallagher, the players that play this game haven’t changed.

“No, they’re all the same,” he said. “The competitors are always the same. They all want an edge.”

What makes it all worthwhile are the people he interacts with on a daily basis from April to August.

“That’s the key,” Gallagher said. “I can’t call them friends, but I certainly can call them people in the game of life with me.”

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The diamond has been his playground, his personal fountain of youth.

Mike Max