Stover, Kibler make Lockport Umpires Hall

From left to right, the two most recent Joe Kibler Award winners, Richard “Dick” Kibler (2021) and Mike Stover (2020) join Jeff Murphy, president of the Lockport Umpires Association, after being inducted into the LUA’s Hall of Fame during its annual banquet at Danny Sheehan’s Steakhouse in Lockport.

The Lockport Umpires Association inducted Michael “Smoke” Stover and Richard “Dick” Kibler into Hall of Fame during its annual banquet, which was held recently at Danny Sheehan’s Steakhouse following another successful season of high school and summer baseball.

Stover, who recently retired from the Lockport Police Department, has been umpiring 33 years following a career playing for Lockport High School and the University at Buffalo. He worked five New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship, dozens of sectional playoff games and the Empire State Games.

Stover was sure to thank many prominent local baseball people, including Joe Kibler, David and Tony Nemi, Tim Hicks, Kevin Burdick and “Bunny” Stoddard. He spoke about taking pride in mentoring young umpires and asked parents to take it easy on the younger umps. He also looks forward to continuing to umpire for years to come.

Dick Kibler, another Lockport resident who graduated from LHS, Buffalo State and Niagara University, umpired for 41 years, building many friendships and a stronger bond with his brother, Joe, who got him started in umpiring along with their father, Joe Sr.

Kibler played football, basketball and baseball at Lockport before moving on to teach history at Niagara Wheatfield High School. A few umpiring career highlights including working college, Suburban League and sectional games. Kibler is enjoying retirement.

The Lockport Umpires Association is a chapter of the New York State Umpires Association. It’s board includes president Jeff Murphy, vice president Dave Davidson, treasurer Tony Nemi, secretary Chuck Lingle, interpreter Dan Budziszewski, assigner Mike Stover and members Mark Sobieraski, Al Cavagnaro, Joshua Austin and Tim Pierce.

The LUA is always looking for new members. For more information, email

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