The vast majority of people who watch baseball can properly call 95% of all plays that happen on the field. My job is to teach you how to call the other 5%.
I learned a valuable life lesson that summer. You should find something in life that you really enjoy and seriously consider making that your life's work.
No one respects the umpire's job more than I do; but, if I were a manager, I would probably be ejected three or four times a season fighting for my team.
My main objective is to prepare candidates for professional baseball; however, the majority of our graduates will go home as much better qualified amateurs.
Minor league umpires are evaluated in their respective leagues each year and rated numerically. This enables umpires to know where they stand and helps them make prudent career decisions.
I attribute my success to my mental approach to the game. I have always been a serious student of umpiring. I enjoy studying rules, situations, and positioning.
During the final two weeks of training, our students work simulated game situations in which our staff members role-play as players, managers, and coaches. They are given immediate feedback following each camp game.
Game management is accomplished by staying constantly alert and then reading and reacting to potential problem situations before they materialize. It all boils down to paying attention to details.
I set very high standards for myself and worked every game with the same energy and enthusiasm as if it were the seventh game of a World Series.
Looking back on those games, I probably hustled out of position as much as I hustled into position since I really never had any real training. I was working on instincts alone.
Anyone interested in becoming a professional umpire and becoming eligible to work in the minor leagues must attend one of the two umpire schools sanctioned by Major League Baseball.
My dad was a carpenter and I would work with him during the summer and umpire on the nights I wasn't playing.
Umpires, like players, are expected to show constant improvement each season and at each level. Inconsistent plate work and the inability to handle situations are probably the two biggest problems that minor league umpires face.
Most plays that are missed by the umpire are caused by the umpire not reading those cues early enough and making the proper adjustments.
After one year in the Texas League, the American League bought the rights to my contract. They optioned me back to the Texas League for the 1970 season.