Let’s Play Two!

Ernie Banks' Salute

Every Saturday night the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League played a doubleheader and were off on Sunday. The first game started at 6pm and the second began 20 minutes after the first game ended. We would usually arrive at the ballpark by 5pm and leave by 10:30pm. Not a bad schedule for a days work.

With split doubleheaders in the Major Leagues becoming the norm, as was today in Minnesota, the length of the work day is extended to typically 12 hours. We arrived at the ballpark at 10:30am and left at 11pm. Tomorrow will be an early morning flight to the next city for a night game and the start of another series.

To insure that the plate umpire for each game of the doubleheader is fresh, an additional umpire is called in to work with the crew. This will allow each plate umpire to work just one game, while the rest of the crew will work both games on the bases. It is not always possible due to travel logistics and the amount of advanced notice we receive when the doubleheader is scheduled, so it is not guaranteed that there will be an additional umpire.

When I first came up to the American League, it was always one of the more difficult tasks as an umpire to work the first game on the bases and then get back behind the plate for the second game. As you can imagine, having the extra umpire is a great help in a day that can stretched over 12 hours.

Ernie Banks’ immortalized words expressing his sheer love for the game, “Let’s play two!” is one of my favorites. The modern-day version might sound something like, “Let’s play one at 12:10 and one at 7:10″ All kidding aside, I know just how Ernie feels – baseball is the best job in the world.


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Welcome to the official blog of UMPS CARE Charities. Its purpose is to share personal insights on umpiring and the community outreach activities in an effort to generate inspiration and interest in the many programs of this Major League Umpire charity.

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2 Responses to “Let’s Play Two!”

  1. matt Says:

    Theres two schools in Florida. Evans and Wendelstedt (both were MLB umps) Schools runs for 5 weeks, and if your good aka “honour roll student” you get recommended to PBUC. Then PBUC evaluates all honour roll students and numbers them 1-however many. So even if you go the PBUC your not necessairly guaranteed a job. Then you begin climbing up the ladder. Dan Bellino is lucky. He got his job in 8 years. Most times it takes about a decade or so.

    I’v got a ton of respect for the guys that do it. By all accounts minor league life is pretty tough.

  2. Robin N. Says:

    Where do I sign up for “the best job in the world?”

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