The Umpire Camp also tries to go beyond classroom instruction and field work to also focus on rules interpretation, positioning, conditioning, nutrition, safety and equipment."This is a chance for umpires around the country to get the most unbelievable staff of instruction I have ever seen," said Randy Marsh, the former Major League umpire who's also a director of umpiring for MLB. "We added it up and we found we had 32 total months of World Series umpiring on staff here for this session. To come here and get this kind of instruction is phenomenal. I wish I had this kind of instruction when I was starting out."
Among the 100-plus attendees at this year's camp were 25 members of the U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy based in Southern California, as well as 12 international World Baseball Classic aspirants.Marquez believes Umpire Camp is another example of baseball being a career option for minorities and people who love the game but may not have the talent to play it on a professional level. "When I got the first itch to umpire, guys were saying, 'You should go to umpire school,'" Marquez recalled. "I had no idea there were umpire schools. Not too many people knew how you get into this profession and how you work your way to the big leagues. As more camps open up -- and I just heard there might be one in Houston -- I think kids are going to see there's opportunities and it could become a reality."
Ben Platt is a national correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.