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Montague named ASG crew chief
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06/30/2004 5:08 PM ET
Montague named ASG crew chief
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Twenty-nine-year veteran Ed Montague will be crew chief of the World Series umpiring crew. (AP/Beth A. Keiser)
Ed Montague, in his 29th season as a Major League umpire, has been named crew chief for the 75th All-Star Game, which will be played at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Tuesday, July 13.

This will be Montague's fourth Midsummer Classic. He has previously worked the games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal (1982), Wrigley Field in Chicago (1990) and Coors Field in Denver (1998).

"It's always an honor," Montague said. "This will be my fourth All-Star Game, and the third one I'm working home plate as crew chief."

Joining Montague's crew will be John Hirschbeck (1B), Doug Eddings (2B), Jim Reynolds (3B), Marvin Hudson (LF), and Sam Holbrook (RF).

Hirschbeck, a regular-season crew chief in his 21st season with Major League Baseball, was a part of the All-Star crew for the 1989 game in Anaheim. Eddings, Reynolds, Hudson and Holbrook will each be making their first trip to the All-Star Game. Eddings is in his sixth year of service, while Reynolds and Hudson are both in their fifth Major League seasons. Holbrook is in his fourth year as a Major League umpire.

"I think Houston is going to put on a real good show," Montague said. "I'm looking forward to working home plate and I've got a good crew to work with. That's a beautiful ballpark down there."

He said his responsibilities during the All-Star Game will be similar to those during a regular-season game.

"Any game I'll prepare the same -- whether it's All-Star or exhibition, they all count, and you just get out there and try to do the best that you can," he said.

The 55-year-old Montague is one of the 17 crew chiefs during the regular season. In addition to All-Star games, he has worked four Division Series (1981, 1995, 2000, 2003), eight League Championship Series (1979, 1984, 1987, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002) and four World Series (1986, 1991, 1997, 2000).

Baseball has always been a family affair for Montague. His father, Ed Sr., played for the Cleveland Indians from 1928 to 1933 and was a scout for the New York/San Francisco Giants for 40 years.

"I was brought up in the game," said Montague, who also played semi-pro ball in the San Francisco area. "[Umpiring is] a great job, just being around the game itself."

When asked why he wanted to be an umpire rather than a baseball player, Montague joked, "I couldn't hit the curveball.

"Actually, it was my mother who suggested, 'Why don't you try umpiring?'" he said. "She knew I loved the game and I thought that was a pretty good idea. I gave it a shot."

He began by attending the Umpire Development Program in St. Petersburg, Fla. His minor league stops on the way to the big leagues included the California League (Class A) in 1972, Arizona Instructional League (Rookie) from 1972 to 1973 and the Pacific Coast League (Triple-A) from 1973 to 1975. He arrived in the Major Leagues in 1976.

Montague has always enjoyed the job, but looks forward to spending the offseason with his family. He and his wife Marcia reside in California and have three children, Eddie, 24, Brooke, 21, and Brett, 14. Eddie is an infielder for the Asheville Tourists, the Rockies' Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League.

Christie Cowles is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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