Darin Axel-Adams pulled one of his dozen or so beloved baseballs from its case that hangs over the nightstand in his bedroom.
The Pendleton resident, who collects the balls signed by other officials and players from high school games he officiates, hopes to add a special ball to his collection on Saturday when, for the first time, he will umpire a high school baseball state finals.
"It's the pinnacle of what we do in officiating. The ultimate goal is to work a state finals," he said.
Born 45 years ago in Lafayette, where he was raised by his father, Larry Axel, a professor of theology and philosophy at Purdue University, and his mother, Becky Chambers, a...