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Umpires Guide
Sunday, 15 November 2009 14:00

RICH GARCIA

Rich Garcia joined Major League Baseball in 2002 as an Umpire Supervisor after spending 25 seasons as a Major League umpire. In his current position, Garcia serves as a liaison between Major League Baseball and the Major League umpires.

During his tenure as a Major League umpire, Garcia worked two All-Star Games (1980, 1992), three Division Series (1995, 1997-98), five League Championship Series (1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1996) and four World Series (1981, 1984, 1989, 1998). Garcia worked in the Florida Instructional, Florida State, Southern, International, and Dominican Winter Leagues prior to joining the American League staff in 1975. Garcia, who played baseball for three years as a U.S. Marine, has instructed at various umpire schools for several years and also conducted offseason umpiring clinics.

In 2008, the Arizona Fall League honored Garcia with the Roland Hemond Award, presented annually to recognize a baseball executive who has provided outstanding service to professional baseball and has served the Arizona Fall League in a key leadership capacity. Garcia has been instrumental in the development and evaluation of umpires in the Arizona Fall League.

Garcia was born in Key West, FL and currently resides in Clearwater, FL. He and his wife Sheryl have four children and six grandchildren.

CRIS JONES

Cris Jones joined Major League Baseball as an Umpire Supervisor in 2005. In addition to evaluating games at the Major League level, he serves as the Umpiring Department’s Triple-A Coordinator, assigning call-up umpires, overseeing and staffing the Arizona Fall League and assigning Spring Training Invitees. Cris also is part of the core staff for MLB’s Umpire Camps as curriculum coordinator and heads the scholarship program.

The 2009 seasons marks the 23rd year in professional baseball for Cris. He umpired in the Gulf Coast League, Midwest League, Texas League and the American Association. Upon leaving the field in 1997, Jones became an Umpire Supervisor with MLB Umpire Development Program, which reorganized in 1998 as the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation.

Cris played college basketball for Lincoln College and Quincy College in Illinois. He resides in Colorado.

JIM MCKEAN

Jim McKean joined Major League Baseball as an Umpire Supervisor in July 2002. He debuted as a Major League umpire in September 1973 and continued in that capacity until retiring at the All-Star break in 2002 to begin his new position. In his current position, McKean serves as a liaison between MLB and the Major League umpires.

During his Major League career, McKean worked three All-Star Games (1980, 1982, 1993) and three World Series (1979, 1985, 1995). He also called five League Championship Series and three Division Series. Previously, McKean worked in the Florida State (1970), Florida Instructional (1970), Eastern (1971), Puerto Rico Winter (1971) and International (1972- 73) Leagues prior to joining the American League staff in 1973.

McKean, a 1966 graduate of Concordia University with a degree in education, played quarterback for Saskatchewan in the Canadian Football League from 1963-69. He was named Rookie of the Year in 1963 and led the team to the Grey Cup title in 1966. On June 26, 2004, McKean was among four new inductees into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Mary's, Ontario.

A native of Montreal, Quebec, McKean graduated from Monklands High School, where he won the Principal's Award as the High School Athlete of the Year. McKean has worked with the Holy Family Church Auction, Police Athletic League, Make-a-Wish Foundation and various children's hospitals. McKean resides in St. Petersburg, FL. He has two sons, James Scott and Brett George.

Steve Palermo

Steve Palermo joined Major League Baseball in 2000 as an Umpire Supervisor. In his current position, Palermo serves as a liaison between Major League Baseball and the Major League umpires.

Palermo previously was hired by MLB as a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Major League Executive Council on April 6, 1994. He handled special projects, one of which was studying the length of games. Palermo was part of the first joint committee on training and collaborated on the first Major League Umpire Manual.

During his tenure as an American League umpire from 1977-1992, Palermo worked the the 1983 World Series and the 1986 All-Star Game in Houston. He also umpired four American League Championship Series (1980, 1982, 1984 and 1989). Palermo was the third base umpire for the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox A.L. East tie-breaker game on October 2, 1978 at Fenway Park. Five years later, he was behind the plate for Dave Righetti’s no-hitter on the Fourth of July at Yankee Stadium.

After attending the Umpire Development Program, Palermo worked in the American Association, New York-Penn League, Carolina League, Eastern League, Florida Instruction al League, Dominican Winter League and Puerto Rican Winter League prior to joining the American League staff in 1977.

Palermo’s on-field umpiring career was abbreviated on July 6, 1991, when he was shot in the back while coming to the aid of a robbery victim in the parking lot of a Dallas restaurant.

In July 2005, Palermo served as honorary commissioner at The White House Tee Ball game on the South Lawn, featuring children with physical disabilities. The program was launched by President George W. Bush in 2001 to promote a spirit of teamwork and service for America’s youth. Other baseball figures to have served as honorary commissioner include Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. and Barry Larkin.

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Palermo studied education at Norwich University, Leicester Junior College and Worcester State College. Palermo resides in Overland Park, KS with his wife, Debbie.

Rich Rieker

Rich Rieker joined Major League Baseball in 2002 as an Umpire Su per vi sor after spending nine seasons as a Major League umpire. In his current position, Rieker serves as a
liaison between Major League Baseball and the Major League umpires.

In 2006, Rich was responsible for the development of the inaugural Major League Baseball Umpire Camps (www.MLBUC.com), based at MLB’s Urban Youth Academy in California. He continues to serve as the coordinator of the Camps, which resulted from a joint effort by MLB, the World Umpires Association, the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation, the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring and the Wendelstedt Umpire School. In March 2009, MLB collaborated with the San Diego Padres to organize the Umpire Camp for Marines, which trained more than 100 Marines and was featured on the FOX News Channel. Rieker also was responsible for the coordination of the training and assignments of both Major League and international umpires for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Rieker developed and managed the production of the “Virtual Umpire Camp” CD-ROM, a first-of-its-kind product that illustrates the proper mechanics for two-umpire, three-umpire and four-umpire crews with
umpiring signals in 3-D. The disk, produced in conjunction with the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation and Immersion Media, is utilized by all professional umpires and is currently in distribution worldwide.

Rieker worked in the Midwest (1983-85), Eastern (1985-86), American Association (1986-95) and Dominican Winter (1987-88) Leagues prior to joining the National League staff in 1996. During his tenure as a Major League umpire, Rieker worked one All-Star Game (1998) and two Division Series (1999-2000). He also was an instructor at the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School for 16 years.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Rieker graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1984 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration & Marketing. Rieker, 47, resides in Orlando, FL with his wife, Kathleen. He has two children, Jacob and Michael.

Marty Springstead

Marty Springstead joined Major League Baseball as Umpire Supervisor in 2000 after serving the previous 15 years as the Executive Director of Umpires for the American League.

Springstead began his professional umpiring career in 1960 in the Class “C” Northern League. He also worked U.S. Army Baseball games in Fort Hood, TX (1961-62) and in the Southern League (1963-65) before becoming a member of the American League staff in 1966. During his 20-year Major League career, Springstead umpired in three All-Star Games (1969, 1975, 1982) and three World Series (1973, 1978, 1983). A crew chief for 11 years, Springstead also officiated five American League Championship Series (1970, 1974, 1977, 1981, 1984). He also had the distinction of working behind the plate for two no-hitters before he retired following the 1985 season.

A distinguished guest speaker, Springstead has taught and lectured throughout the world. He has held clinics in Japan, where he instructed the Japanese Professional Umpires of the Pacific League, and has also taught in various Canadian provinces and for the United States Air Force in Spain, Holland and Germany.

Springstead, who was just the fourth person ever to hold the position of Executive Director of Umpires for the American League, attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ, majoring in advertising. He now resides in Sarasota, FL.

Larry Young

A veteran of more than 23 years of Major League umpiring, Larry Young enters his second season as one of Major League Baseball’s Umpire Supervisors, in which he serves as a liaison to MLB’s active umpires.

Young joined the Major League staff in 1985. He worked two All-Star Games (1991, 2003), six Division Series, three League Championship Series and two World Series (1996, 2003). Prior to his Major League career, Young worked at the Minor League level from 1978-1982.

Young also serves as an adviser to the sport’s Playing Rules Committee, which is charged with voting to amend the Official Baseball Rules. He was the first umpire ever to be a part of the Committee. Larry often has helped articulate and instruct his fellow umpires on the rules changes enacted by the Playing Rules Committee. Young also has worked as an instructor at each of the first two Major League Baseball Umpire Camps held annually at MLB’s Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California.

Young graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1976 with a B.A. in Education. He is President of Larry Young and Friends Charities, which raises money for various organizations like Special Olympics, Hospice and the American Heart Association. Larry has been the recipient of the JC Penny Golden Rule Award, the Special Olympics Volunteer of the Year, Florida Diamond Club Umpire of the Year, the Goodwill Abilities
Center Distinguished Service Award and the 2002 Gold Whistle Award, presented by the National Association of Sports Officials.

Young, 55, and his wife Joan have two children, Jessica and Darcy.

Source: Major League Baseball, World Umpires Association

 
 
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