Monday, August 29, 2011

MLB to hold Umpire Camp for members of the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy at Petco Park

As a part of the ongoing spirit of partnership with the United States military, Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the San Diego Padres and the San Diego Sports Commission, will host a free, one-day Umpire Camp for members of the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy. The event, which is the latest in a series of events that have been tailored for U.S. servicemen and servicewomen, will be held at San Diego's PETCO Park on Friday, August 26 from 9:30 a.m-3:00 p.m.

Members of the MLB Umpiring Department who will be in attendance will include Umpiring Director Rich Rieker; Umpiring Director Randy Marsh (U.S. Army Reserve, 1968-1974); Supervisors Cris Jones, Chuck Meriwether, Ed Montague (U.S. Navy, 1969-1973), Steve Palermo, Charlie Reliford, and Larry Young; Director of Umpire Administration Tom Lepperd; Special Assistant for Umpiring Bruce Froemming; and Director of Umpire Medical Services Mark Letendre.

"The events that Major League Baseball has organized for the members of the military have been among the most rewarding experiences we have ever been a part of," Rieker said. "We are looking forward to another great day in San Diego." Marsh added: "The opportunity to work with these men and women is inspiring, and we are honored to give some of our nation's heroes a glimpse of a career on the baseball field."

The Major League Baseball Umpire Camps train both aspiring umpires and baseball fans alike. Launched in 2006, the MLB Umpire Camps featured on-field training and classroom instruction, as well as lessons on rules enforcement and interpretation, game management, conditioning, nutrition, safety and equipment needs. The MLB Umpire Camp, which is scheduled for November 6-13, 2011, is held annually each November at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California.

The free one-day Umpire Camp at PETCO Park is the latest in a series of steps that the MLB Umpiring Department has taken as a gesture to honor members of our nation's military. This past May, a free one-day Umpire Camp for Marines was held at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Last August, a free one-day Umpire Camp was held at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. In March 2009, during the World Baseball Classic, MLB and the Department of Military Affairs of the San Diego Padres organized a free one-day Umpire Camp for Marines at San Diego State University's Tony Gwynn Stadium. More than 100 Marines attended each of these special MLB Umpire Camps, receiving instruction from MLB staff on all facets of umpiring.

In addition, in January 2010, Major League Baseball announced a collaboration with Columbia College (MO), a leader in military-friendly education, on the development of a certificate of professional umpiring. Following the completion of online coursework in subjects relevant to sports officiating, the program incorporates a week-long training program at the MLB Umpire Camp in California.

For more than 30 years, Columbia College has helped military personnel, their family members and Department of Defense civilians earn college degrees during their service. One out of every four students at Columbia College is in the military or is a military dependent, and 18 of the institution's 35 nationwide campus locations are located on military bases.