If you want to be a Major Leage Baseball Umpire, you will have to go to school and work your way up through the ranks in the minor leagues for about 7 to 10 years before ever being considered for the MLB. Its a rough career path, and the fact that the MLB only employs 68 umpires at any given time, makes it even rougher.
Of the 300 that typically attend one of the two approved umpire schools annually, only the top graduates get picked for an Evaluation course. This number varies but it is generally the top 15 to 20 percent. Approved schools are the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring and the Harry Wendelstedt School for Umpires.
After Evaluation, the rookie umpires are eligible to be hired by the minor league teams starting with Class A, the lowest working their way up to Class AAA referred to as triple A ball. If they have ourstanding skills they may get into Major League Ball.
Amateur umpires don’t have the same long career path but they do belong to baseball associations such as Amateur Baseball Umpires Association that provide educational training and resources. Major League Baseball sponsors some free clinics for the Amateur Association around the country (U.S).
My all time favorite MLB umpire was the very colorful Ron Luciano who umpired in the AL from 1969 to 1980. Known for his theatrical antics and exaggerated gestures, he became a legend.
If you want a bird’s eye view at the life of an MLB umpire…or just want to laugh, read Luciano’s book, “The Umpire Strikes Back”.
The last but not least, just visit http://umpire.org or http://baseballumpires.com for make your dream come true.