Fake umps finish 2010 tour in Toronto
Famous fans raised money for UMPS CARE foundation
TORONTO -- For Joe Farrell and Tim Williams -- better known as the Fake Umpires -- it was fitting that they ended their four-game stadium tour where it all began -- in Toronto.
Last year, the dynamic duo, who become wildly popular for sitting in the seats directly behind home plate dressed in full umpire attire, started their act in Toronto, eventually attending games in nearly half of the stadiums around the Major Leagues. This time around, Farrell and Williams planned a four-city trip between June 17-20 -- Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Boston and Toronto on Sunday -- in an attempt to raise money for the UMPS CARE foundation.
The UMPS CARE foundation, which is sponsored by Major League Baseball umpires, brings Build-A-Bear Workshops to the bedside of children with cancer or other serious illnesses. As of Sunday, the two charismatic Fake Umpires had raised roughly $8,000.
So how exactly did these brokers from Toronto build such a large reputation? A reputation that has garnered the attention of North American media, including appearances on ESPN television.
"I guess it was two years ago," Farrell said. "Timmy has the seats down there behind the plate and he ran into some of the umpires at a Toronto steak house. He bought them a couple drinks and they sent him a few shirts in the mail.
"It's kind of funny, because we're just two guys who love baseball and are having fun. We've been to about 14 stadiums and the people around us seem to be having fun."
Farrell and Williams have since become close friends with many of the real Major League Baseball umpires. In fact, the two were invited to play in the UMPS CARE charity golf tournament, which is where they hatched the idea, alongside executive director Samuel Dearth, to utilize their unique skill set to help raise money for the Foundation.
While Farrell always has a blast taking his routine on the road, he always brings a little extra "to the plate" when back home in Toronto.
"We're Blue Jays fans and we love Toronto," Farrell said. "It's nice to come home, we have a lot of fun."
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.