STAMFORD, Conn. — Retired physical education teacher and high school baseball umpire Jim Sabia is not only using his time to stay fit and participate in activities he enjoys, but also to help keep his city looking its best.
A lifelong resident, Sabia, who still lives near Scalzi Park with wife and fellow Stamford native, Michele, spent a large portion of his 36-year career at Rogers Elementary and Northeast Elementary schools before retiring four years ago.
Sabia said he looks back on the time fondly. He cherished the interaction with his students, and shared in their excitement for indoor and outdoor physical activities during class time.
“The kids were always excited about getting out of the classroom and coming to gym class,” he said. “That is what made it an enjoyable experience for me.”
When Sabia was just 20 years old, he also started umpiring Babe Ruth little league games, which led to 30 years of participation as a high school umpire in Stamford and throughout Connecticut.
Since his retirement, Sabia has spent time keeping in shape at the Stamford Athletic Club, where he exercises everyday through aerobics and weight training programs.
In the community, Sabia volunteers with the city’s beautification programs, planting flowers, joining in clean-up efforts and other sprucing up activities throughout the downtown area.
Sabia said he gives back to his community for his wife, who still teaches in the Stamford public schools, and his two children, Chris, 34, and Elizabeth 31, who were both raised in town.
Glen Colarossi, manager of Stamford Athletic Club, said he admires Sabia for his dedication.
“He has really made an impact on the kids,” he said.
Sabia added that he still umpires Babe Ruth League and American Legion baseball games at Scalzi Park on a limited basis.
“In the summer it is a fast season but it is close to where I live, I enjoy it and I get some exercise,” he said.