March 17th, 2010
Over the weekend, I told you about Umps Care, the official charity of Major League Umpires, and their ongoing raffle. While the raffle is still going on until next Monday, March, 22, about a third of the auction items have been closed out with the “buy it now” feature. But there is still a TON of cool stuff left, so stop on over and check it out!
Marvin Hudson has been in major League Baseball since 1999, and has worked such notable games as the 2004 All-Star Game, the 2005 National League Division Series between Houston and Atlanta, and the Toronto round of the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Marvin also co-founded Blue For Kids with fellow umpire Mike DiMuro in 2004, which is now part of Umps Care.I had the opportunity to ask him some questions this week about Umps Care and umpiring in general…
Boston Red Thoughts: How did Umps Care come about? Can you tell me a little bit about the history of the organization?
Marvin Hudson: We wanted to give back to the community. We wanted to put a smile on the kids’ faces. We’ve been going a couple years with the hospital visits and leaving tickets for the kids. It’s worked out real well.
BRT: If you could choose one thing to say to people to get them to participate in the auction, what would it be?
MH: If they have their own kids, just to see their kid smile and how happy they are is big. But some of these kids with the adoption agency and the hospitals, they don’t’ have a chance to smile that often. To see them smile really means a lot to us. This auction is for those smiles.
BRT: Can you tell me about one of your favorite memories with regard to Umps Care? A special child you helped, etc.
MH: It was in Baltimore, I had a cat, a bear, and a puppy Build-A-Bear. We let `em choose one of the three and the outfit. I was talking to the mother because the kid was only a couple years old. But the stuffed animals just lit his face up. He could understand me, so I told him he could have one. He looked at me, looked at the animals, looked at me, looked at the animals again, then he said, “I want all three!” The smile on his face was huge. What do you say to that?? I was ready to just give `em to him, I couldn’t say no. The hospital worker told him we had to save them for other patients. That was my first hospital visit, so that sticks out most to me.
BRT: As a profession, umpires are often under the spotlight, and are 2nd guessed as often as not. You can also deal with a lot of negativity. If a young person came to you, and wanted to be an umpire, what advice would you give him?
MH: I would encourage him to do some local rec ball, some summer ball, go to college and get your degree, and then pursue it.
BRT: What kind of training does an umpire go through? Is there an Umpire School? How long have you been an umpire?
MH: This will be my 11th year in the big leagues. Umpire school lasted five weeks when I went, and I’ve been in professional baseball since 1992. They teach you from A to Z everything you need to know. But just because you go to ump school doesn’t mean you’ll get a job. You work your way up, too. You work rookie ball, short A, high A, double A, triple A, before you get to the majors.
BRT: Anything else you would like to add?
MH: This is a great cause, and we appreciate everyone’s support. Whether you’re directly or indirectly involved, it means a lot to the kids and has a huge impact on the kids.
Thank you to Marvin, for agreeing to answer my questions. And don’t forget, the Umps Care Raffle goes until next Monday, March, 22, so stop on by!