Carl Lewton

Sports Umpire, EducatorCarl Lewton

Carl Lewton was born in Julesberg, Colorado on June 17, 1928, to Orin and Anna Lewton. He graduated from high school at Valley Falls, Kansas and received a Bachelor of Science degree in history and physical education from the University of Kansas, and a Masters Degree from Pittsburg State University.

After teaching one year in Independence, Kansas, he moved to Carthage in 1955, teaching history and physical education at Hawthorne and Eugene Field Elementary Schools and 8th and 9th grades at Carthage Junior High School.

Carl retired from teaching in 1986, after 31 years of service.  He was presented a Special Service Award by the Carthage School System and was the founder of Cross Country running in the Carthage schools and directed numerous cross country runs and road races in the Carthage area.

Outside the classroom, Carl impacted countless lives as a baseball umpire and coach. He spent over 50 years as an umpire in Little League through minor league professional baseball. He started umpiring in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League in 1950 and worked with the National Baseball Congress for 24 years, serving as supervisor of umpires beginning in 1971. He was a registered official of high school and college football, baseball, basketball, and volleyball for 39 years, serving as President of the Joplin Officials Association.  In 1986 Lewton was named to the NBC Hall of Fame, along with notables such as Satchel Paige, Joe Garagiola, and Mark McGwire, the only umpire named to that Hall. He served as Supervisor of Umpires for the NBC National Association of Umpires and was the on-field Director of the NBC

National Tournament in Wichita. He received an award for Outstanding Service from the Missouri Valley AAU Junior Olympics, and was inducted into the Joplin Officials Association Hall of Fame.

Carl played a major role in the restoration of the old Rock Stadium at Municipal Park, where future All-Star players Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial played in their youth, spending countless hours in groundskeeping and other tasks. In recognition of his service, the stadium was renamed Carl Lewton Stadium several years ago. Lewton also was Rules Interpreter for the Missouri State High School Activities Association, race walk judge for the Kansas Relays and the NAIA National Track Meet, as well as Missouri Valley AAU Women’s Track and Field Chairman.

Carl was a member of First Baptist Church in Carthage and Gideons International. Marvin VanGilder said, “He cared about people and worked with people of all ages and he had a harmonious relationship with everyone.” Carl was married to Lois Manley in Carthage in 1961, and they raised four children. He died in 2009 and is buried in Park Cemetery.