Umpire School Is It For You

Updated: September 27, 2008



Ah yes Fall and young

and not so young men’s

thoughts turn to ….


if you believe

and the ads MLB

is running as it

streams games

at the end of

this season

We’ve of TWO minds with today’s Box. We could go either way. But it will be a stretch to go one way. Cheering on MLB Umpire School is a REAL stretch. All you have to do is watch the MLB ad to understand and get the message KEEP OUT not that you need to do so. There is all of ONE African American among a sea of White faces in the school clips in the promotion.

Here in the Box there are about a dozen subjects we return to again and again in different guises and MLB Umpires are near the top of that List. This season for the very first time there have been THREE African Americans umpiring in the Majors among 69. The third a “provisional” not fully accredited and certainly not assured of staying in the Bigs unless he becomes Official.

Going to MLB Umpire School is a requirement for being considered to Umpire in the Majors although far far from a certainty. Let’s put it this way don’t quit your day job just because you graduate from Umpire School. That brings up another Problem.

A problem made worse for African Americans. There is almost NO turn over in Major League Umpires. Unless you are convicted of mass murder and actually put to death it is a life long job for all practical purposes. Over a 10 year period there will be a very small handful of NEW MLB Umpires. And why should there be if Baseball does not put any limits on these guys. How about 10 years and you’re OUT. That is more than reasonable. Give others a Chance.

The pay is fabulous.

It can reach near or over $300,000 for the veterans. You travel business class. Stay in the best hotels all compliments of MLB. Work 3 hours a day. See the country. You have the best “seat” at a games every day of the season. Plus you get 5 months off.

No wonder so few African Americans have ever been MLB Umpires. 8 in the entire 100+ history of the Majors. 8 among how many. Hundreds and hundreds. So today yes theoretically there is logic to African Americans trying to flood Umpire School. But there are limited openings and nobody making the selections is Black anyway. And these schools are owned and operated with Lily White credentials and an occasional Black on staff so they don’t get sued.

The truth is the ONLY way there will ever be the slightest equality among MLB Umpires and the selection process if for Major League Baseball to fund a new Umpire School owned and operated by African Americans where Black “students” would be encouraged to attend, feel comfortable and believe the time and money they spend is worth something.

That is about as likely as MLB establishing Baseball Academies for young Black talent in Inner Cities across America the way they do and all the teams do in Latin America so many in the Dominican Republic it might as well be called the Baseball Republic.

Once again its Lip Service

from Commissioner Selig

and the Lords of Baseball

“special” rules for African

Americans don’t bother

is the very clear message

you’ve a better chance

of going to the Moon

than to be an MLB

UMPIRE today or

even tomorrow

STRIKE 3 and

you’re OUT