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05/11/11 2:59 PM ET
Umpires set to host free camp for Marines
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
Major League Baseball, in partnership with the U.S. military, will host a free, one-day umpire camp for the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. ET on Friday. The camp is the third of its kind the MLB Umpiring Department has put on as a gesture to honor the members of the U.S. military. The first of these came in March 2009 during the World Baseball Classic, when MLB and the Department of Military Affairs of the San Diego Padres organized a camp for Marines at San Diego State University. Last August, a one-day camp was held at Marines Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. "Major League Baseball is proud to continue our partnership with the heroic members of the United States military," MLB said director of umpiring Rich Rieker, who coordinates the MLB Umpire Camps, in a statement. "Our staff has wonderful memories of each of the previous Umpire Camps for the Marines, and we look forward to providing another outstanding baseball experience to these brave young men and women." Expected to be on hand at Camp Lejeune will be MLB director of umpiring and former Major League umpire Randy Marsh, current MLB umpire supervisors Chuck Meriwether, Ed Montague, Steve Palermo, Charlie Reliford and Larry Young, MLB special assistant for umpiring Bruce Froemming and MLB director of umpire services Mark Letendre. Several members of the MLB Umpiring staff have military experience, including Mark Carlson (U.S. Marine Corps), Laz Diaz (U.S. Marine Corps), Marsh (U.S. Army Reserve) and Montague (U.S. Navy). Launched in 2006, MLB Umpire Camps train aspiring umpires at all levels, in addition to baseball fans. The camps consist of on-field training and classroom instruction, as well as lessons on rules enforcement and interpretation, game management, conditioning, nutrition and equipment needs. The MLB Umpire Camp is held annually each November at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif.