More than 80 men and one woman are learning the rules of the game of baseball and practicing calling balls and strikes at the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) Umpire Training Academy, currently taking place at Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, through the end of January.
The MiLB Umpire Academy is the country’s only all-inclusive program, preparing aspiring umpiring professionals on the technical side – and nuances – of the game. The Umpire Training Academy has been held at Historic Dodgertown since 2010.
Students come from all walks of life, and from all over the world to attend the training academy. For example:
Paul Allmon is currently in the Army, based in Japan. When he completes his 25-year military career this fall, he hopes to become a full-time umpire. Umpiring was second nature for Paul. At age 12, he started calling games, following in his father’s footsteps. His father umpired Little League Baseball games in Indiana, Pa. Fast forward to a successful military career, and Paul would call games for youth around the world, wherever he was stationed. A true student of the game, Paul came to Historic Dodgertown having read the Rule Book five times!
Emma Charlesworth-Seiler, from Minnesota, became interested in baseball by writing a second-grade report on Dodger Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. Her love of baseball was immediate. She played in an international tournament in South Korea, and recently played in a women’s baseball league in Australia, on the Penrith Panthers Baseball Club team.
Kyle Norton, from San Diego, graduated San Diego State University with a degree in quantitative analysis. His father Jim was an official Little League Baseball umpire and when Kyle was a young teenager, Jim developed an unofficial umpire training camp for Kyle and his friends, thus establishing a life-long love for baseball. Fluent in Spanish, Kyle has also led trips to Central Shalom church in Mexico, taking gifts, playing with the children and helping to build homes.
Since its inception in 1997, every umpire hired by Major League Baseball has come through the Minor League Baseball Umpire Development system.
The Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy was created by Minor League Baseball to expand and enhance umpire training at all levels. Members of Minor League Baseball Umpire Development drive the curriculum and instruction, thereby giving students the one-of-a-kind opportunity to accelerate their development and training.
Historic Dodgertown was the Spring Training home of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1948-2008. More than 140 Hall of Famers have passed through this facility, as players on Dodger or opposing teams, or as executives and visitors. Authenticity is what differentiates Historic Dodgertown from other baseball facilities.
The Umpire Training Academy students are learning the game and staying in the same rooms as 60 years of professional players have done before them. Historic Dodgertown is Florida’s premier tournament destination and is on the Florida Registry of Historical Places. Today more than 1,000 youth and adult amateur and professional teams from the United States, Canada, Latin America, Japan, Korea, China and more annually stay, train and play at Historic Dodgertown, in the sports of baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football, swimming and umpiring.
For more information on the Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy, please visit https://www.milbumpireacademy.com/
For more information on Historic Dodgertown please visit www.HistoricDodgertown.com.