MLB Umpires Jeff Nelson and Ted Barrett at The Umpire School

Feb 26th, 2015

While at The Umpire School over the last four years, I have seen a number of current and former MLB umpires stop by and share their time and insights to students. Those include:

Ted Barrett

Gary Cederstrom

Bruce Froemming

Chris Guccione

Jeff Nelson

Alfonzo Marguez

Ed Rapuano

Dutch Rennert

Tim Timmons

Joe West

MLB Umpire Ted Barrett and Student Mick Cumming

Ted Barrett stops by every year and spends several days. We always enjoy him stopping by our showroom and serving as honorary staffer where he provides valuable gear tips to students. This year he provided a quick lesson on handling excess umpire mask strapping cutting to desired length then burning (with a lighter) or using black electrical tape. In the photo above he hands Aussie Mick Cumming an order delivered from the office.

Jeff Nelson served as this year's banquet guest speaker in a Q-and-A session with students. What impressed me about Jeff is how humble he is despite working 3 World Series, including Game 7 last year. My three take-aways from his talk were:

1) How he uses mental visualization during his pre-game routine. For instance, if he has 2nd base that day, he'll run plays through his head that typically occur there (e.g. steal plays).

2) It's important to never be too high or too low regarding the job you do as you can be easily humbled by a missed call at any level.

3) Even the top umpires get nervous before a big game, though they may not admit it.

 MLB Umpire Jeff Nelson and Executive Director Dusty Dellinger at Closing Ceremonies

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About the Author

Picture of Jim Kirk

President Jim Kirk

Jim is a leading expert, educator and author on umpire gear, safety & appearance. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought in 2006, He eventually led it to the leading umpire gear & attire retailer worldwide, a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020 & 2021 and a National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Preferred Vendor. He maintained a long-standing relationship with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy for 10 years. He serves as an adviser to UMPS CARE Charities, the charity of MLB umpires, served as a 2-term board of director from 2012-2018, and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. A supporter since the inception of the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy, he was named to their Board of Directors in 2020.


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