By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
‘I still got their backs:’ Longtime statistician, umpire scheduler looks back on career
Pam McBride
Pam McBride might be retiring from her longtime journey as an umpire scheduler, but plans to keep up with the stats for North Forsyth High School.

“I bleed black and silver,” Pam McBride said.

Black and silver were North Forsyth High School’s primary colors. Within a couple of years, the administration and the students voted to adopt purple into the school’s colors in 2002.

Pam McBride is well known for being a statistician for North Forsyth athletics since it was opened in 1994. In 1998, she became the Raiders football statistician.

“The first year North opened, I was doing the scorebook for middle school basketball because my daughter played. When they hired the first coach at North, she happened to be on my tennis team, so I asked and that’s how it started. As soon as we opened the doors at North Forsyth, I’m the only bookkeeper they ever had.

“I was just always sports-minded, and math was my thing. We moved to Georgia, and I started following the Atlanta Braves and it was just something I enjoyed doing,” she said. “I would sit there with a scorebook, listening to them on the radio when I should’ve been asleep. Then I kept keeping up with stats. I would do the batting averages, strikes, earned runs, and all that stuff. That’s when I really realized I enjoyed doing statistics.”

In September 2019, McBride was a part of the second class ever inducted into the North Forsyth’s Hall of Fame. She also coached softball for six years and ended up being crowned back-to-back state champions in 1998 and 1999.

“It was so exciting, I was like ‘What?’ I don’t do it for the glory you know, I just do it for the stats – I always have,” McBride said.

Even now McBride enjoys playing softball. She got back into the action and joined her church’s first-year co-ed team at the age of 70.

She got into the business of scheduling umpires when she worked for Forsyth County Parks and Rec as a seasonal field worker, then she began scheduling the umpires for the Georgia High School Association, or GHSA.

McBride went on to schedule umpires for 27 years saying her love for sports is what made it enjoyable.

Her first-year scheduling umpires was easy due to the large number of people volunteering.

“To me, in the beginning, it was so easy I had so many guys. You just got to be organized,” McBride said. “I tried to make it even for everyone to have the same number of games and try to put them closer to their house. I wouldn’t send anybody that lived on the south end of the county to Bennett Park to call a game.”

As the years went on, umpires that stuck around started to age out and that’s when it got tougher for her to schedule umpires.

“I still use the same format of figuring [out the schedules] but now I can’t put you near your house all the time because I need every field covered,” she said. 

“When I worked at Coal Mountain there were three little fields and that was it. Now we have eight fields at Coal Mountain. That’s also what happened with Midway Park,” she said. 

“In high school ball, you have to have 20 [at the minimum] and that’s about all we can do is 20.  Monday through Friday we can barely get guys out there but when it comes to Saturday, you could forget it.”

As of right now, McBride’s biggest age group for the umpires she has available is 60-75. Six are in the age range of 20-40 and there’s one 19-year-old.

McBride said she thinks that the young generation would struggle as an umpire for the long haul due to criticism, the yelling, and the fact that some go off college.

She is retiring from scheduling umpires but plans to remain as a statistician for North’s athletics.

“I’m not leaving North Forsyth high school ever. I don’t care if they go 0-10, I still got their backs,” McBride said. “They’re going to have to push me out. I can still run really fast for an old lady. 

“I run the sidelines Friday nights and I enjoy the heck out of high school football. A good high school ball game could be more exciting than anything because those kids are really trying and not getting paid to play.”