Wednesday, February 23, 2011


As the season gets closer and closer, I have been racking my brain trying to think of ways to really help the youth umpire. To anybody that is or knows a youth umpire...if I were to post some video's on positioning and situations, would you find that useful?

Let me know.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Best Way I Know to Say Goodbye

This past week a coach/tournament director and all around good guy passed away. Rick Cox and I had lost touch over the last 6 or 7 years but we go way back. When I was 16 or 17, I had my first experience umpiring him. I can tell you that we didn't get along. I had rabbit ears and he wanted every call to go his way. Over the years, we battled each other over and over but we also built quiet a bit of respect for one another.

When I was 19, I took over the umpires at our local association. Later that year, Rick got signed up with Super Series Program and started running some small local tournaments. At the end of the year, he ran a huge week long tournament at my complex. He was told by the main people at Super Series that he shouldn't use a 19 year old to run him umpires for this tournament but he decided that he would stick with me. That always meant a lot to me.

The week was a hectic week and the weather was awful. We had two full days rained out but Rick and I figured out how to get almost all of the games in. We actually played the championship of the 14 year old boys at 3:30 in the morning. It was a blast.

After that week was over, Rick and I continued to work together in tournaments and argue with each other on the field. It was a great couple years.

After a few years, Rick backed away from the game (I have now found out it was due to health issues) and we lost touch. But I have never lost the respect for the man that really cared a lot of youth baseball in the St. Louis area. He was a very intense man, but he was also a very knowledgeable baseball coach and tournament director.

I have learned that the last few years of his life were not very pleasant. At least now, Rick is finally at peace and hopefully, kicking it with Babe Ruth and the rest of the greats.

Rick you will be missed and you will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace!!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's Almost Time Baby!!!

You know, I hate the winter. The snow, the cold and this winter...THE ICE but there is one thing that helps me get through the winter, and that's knowing that baseball is right around the corner. Next week, my associations young umpires will report to our annual training sessions. This is the mark of the beginning of the end of this harsh cold. This is the light at the end of the tunnel. Baseball is coming, and it's coming soon.

This summer will mark the 21st summer I have been an umpire. A lot has changed since I was a scared little 12 year old strapping on the gear for the first time but, in many ways, many things have stayed exactly the same.

In my 21 years, I have worked just about every level of baseball you can work. I have done little league, high school, college and this past summer, I worked my first pro games in the Frontier League. I am not a perfect umpire. If I was, I would be able to make a living out of it. But I am a good umpire who works as hard as he possibly can to call a fair game.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to post my tips to the young umpire. I have posted them before but I believe that these are all extrememly important so I am going to do it again. I am also hoping to be able to put some video up this year so I can better explain positioning and situations. For those of you that read my blog...thank you, I am honored that you take the time to read it and please spread the word.

Ok, I think that about covers it for today. Until next time, remember that ties are outs and the black is NOT part of the plate......PLAY BALL!!!!!