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10/08/07 6:02 PM ET
Umpire Camp registration closing soon
By Christie Cowles / MLB.com
Registration for the second annual Major League Baseball Umpire Camp is drawing to a close, but fans still have a limited time to sign up for this opportunity to learn from some of the Major League's best. The Umpire Camp runs from Nov. 4-11 in the Los Angeles area. Camp participants will have a chance to learn basic umpiring fundamentals, with both classroom instruction and field work each day of the camp. The camp is open to men and women ages 18 and up, with a high school diploma or GED, at the time of the session. Campers are not required to have previous umpiring experience. Basic skills will be taught for first-time umpires, along with tips and instruction for those with umpiring experience at a variety of levels. The camp will help people further their careers in college, high school and Little League baseball umpiring, and also will serve as a prep class for those who are interested in getting into Major or Minor League umpiring in the future. "We're going to have people that have been umpiring for 25 years and we'll have people who have never called a pitch. We'll take them all -- we'll gear the training toward them," MLB Umpire Supervisor Rich Rieker said. Those interested in attending the one-week session can register online to reserve a spot for the camp. Field instruction for the Umpire Camp will be held at MLB's state-of-the-art Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., and classroom work will take place at the Holiday Inn Long Beach, in Long Beach, Calif. In addition to work behind the plate and in the field, the camp will focus on rules interpretations, positioning, fitness, health, safety and equipment needs. "We're going to have different facets of [umpiring] -- off the field, family life, conditioning, nutrition, proper stretching," Rieker said. "Not just ball, strike, fair, foul, out and safe, but the whole mindsest of what it takes to get into the career." Camp participants will have plenty of opportunities to interact throughout the week with the Major League umpiring staff and executives, the Minor League umpiring staff and the Professional Baseball Umpire Corp (PBUC) representatives, which is the entity that oversees the Minor League umpires. The eight Major League umpires that will serve as instructors at the camp are: Umpire crew chiefs Tim Tschida and Larry Young and umpires Gary Cederstrom, Kerwin Danley, Brian Gorman, Sam Holbrook, Jerry Layne and Brian Runge. MLB Umpiring Department representatives, including MLB Umpire Supervisors Rieker, Cris Jones, Jim McKean and Marty Springstead and MLB Medical Services Director Mark Letendre also will join the staff. Eight Minor League umpires will participate as instructors at the camp as well, including: Lance Barrett, Adam Hamari, Anthony Johnson, Brian Kennedy, Masaki Nonaka, Robert Price, David Rackley and Mark Ripperger. MLB is putting on the camp in conjunction with PBUC, the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring and the Harry Wendelstedt Umpiring School, which are two established umpiring school in Florida.
Christie Cowles is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.