Marines

Area baseball fans offered free MLB umpire camp

5 May 2011 | Lance Cpl. Damany S. Coleman

In an effort to continue its successful bonds with the United States Armed Forces and to provide service members with a unique opportunity, Major League Baseball will host a free, one-day Umpire Camp at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune at the Harry Agganis Field, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m, May 13.

The first camp was in Long Beach, Calif., and the first camp aboard a Marine Corps installation was last year at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. It features various field and classroom training, as well as other lessons on officiating for the MLB. The camp is open to all skill levels and baseball fans alike.

 “It’s a Major League Baseball initiative and they’ve identified the Marine Corps as a good potential recruitment area for umpires,” said Chris Alger, sports branch head with the Semper Fit Division, Marine Corps Community Services. “They’re specifically looking for service members who are reaching their end of active duty service in the next six to eight months. (If selected) they will be going to the MLB tryout camp in San Diego, then possibly progressing into umpiring for the MLB.”

Alger said that besides from the MLB’s desire for able umpires, they want to raise awareness for sports officiating and give people an idea what it’s like. For those who already know what it’s about, it’s to hone their skills.

Alger added that the MLB held a similar event aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar this past fall, but this is the first event of its kind aboard MCB Camp Lejeune.

If it’s successful aboard the base, Alger said the base will continue to entice other organizations to come as well and enhance the opportunity.

For more information on the MLB Umpire Camp, visit www.mccslejeune.com/sports.