Little League® International mourns the passing of Russell Tinsley, a 40-year volunteer, who gave his time at the local and district levels, and served as official photographer of the Little League Baseball® World Series from 1984 until 2010.
“Russ was the embodiment of a Little League volunteer,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “His appreciation of the importance of volunteering in support of the children and the local community brought him into the Little League family, but it was his persona, good humor, and zest for life that endeared him to everyone he met, and made him a wonderful ambassador for our program.”
Mr. Tinsley a resident of Tarzana, Calif., was the founder, owner, and CEO of Echo Sound in Burbank, Calif., a leading Hollywood post-production sound company that has won 11 Emmy Awards. He started in the television industry in 1955, as an apprentice film editor at CBS, and came up through the ranks to become assistant post production supervisor on programs such as “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Mr. Ed,” “Green Acres,” and “Petticoat Junction.” Mr. Tinsley’s 1986 Emmy Award is currently among the items on display in the Fifth Inning World Series Gallery at the World of Little League Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum and Official Store located on the Little League International complex in Williamsport, Pa.
Beginning in 1968, Mr. Tinsley, and his wife, Lee, were introduced to Little League as their son, Scot, entered Tarzana Little League. One year later, Mr. Tinsley began his volunteer service to the program, in the role of the league’s field commissioner. The next season, he was elected League President, and also began taking the league’s team photos. In 1971, during his second season as Tarzana Little League President, he was asked to serve as an Assistant District Administrator for California District 40.
“Lee and I feel very exceptional to have been volunteers, and attended the functions that we did, the places we have been, and the friends we have made,” said Mr. Tinsley. “The District Administrators and the rest of the volunteers are the backbone of Little League. In our limited way, we have tried to show what goes on in Little League. We know the not everyone would have had the experiences we had. Little League was a large part of our life and we really have enjoyed the adventure.”
As a member of the district staff and donating time as a photographer, Mr. Tinsley annually received invitations to serve as the official photographer for the Western Region Tournament in San Bernardino, Calif. He and Lee were members of the Western Region Tournament Committee from 1978-to-1993. During this time, Mr. Tinsley added to his travels and experiences, coming to Williamsport to photograph the Little League Baseball World Series, and also chronicling other Little League events in places such as Poland and China.
“Russ was a storyteller and a visionary,” said Mr. Keener. “He had the wonderful ability to see people, and share their emotions through the images he captured with his camera. A humble man, who loved his family, and enjoyed each day, his pictures and ability to connect with people from all walks of life embodied what makes Little League so special. We will miss him.”
In Williamsport, Mr. Tinsley volunteered as official World Series photographer for more than 30 years, and during the 2003 World Series, the photo well at Little League Volunteer Stadium was named in his honor.
Mr. Tinsley, is survived by his wife, and many family members.