Bill Valentine, formerly general manager of the Arkansas Travelers, died this morning in Little Rock at 82. He’d been in failing health and was in hospice care.

Valentine’s resume includes a famous and controversial stint as an umpire (fired for union organizing), a time as a state Republican Party official, being a whiz bang promoter for the Travelers and earning a deserved reputation as a bon vivant — lover of good wine and good food.

Ruebel Funeral Home will be handling arrangements, they confirm, but no details yet.

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