UMPS CARE Charities AuctionMarch 13, 2010
Through my membership in the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I was informed about a fundraising event hosted by UMPS CARE Charities. This online auction, which runs March 12-22 features a number of great items. For my fellow New York Mets fans out there you may be interested in the following items:
-New York Mets batting practice experience; watch BP from the field with three friends and get four tickets to the game as well.
-Buffalo Bisons tickets: two tickets to a home game for the Buffalo Bisons.
-A tour of MLB Network in New Jersey.
-An umps jersey autographed by President Obama.
For a complete listing of auction items click here.
I was also fortunate enough to do a phone interview with UMPS CARE Charities member and MLB Umpire Jim Reynolds. Read below to see Jim’s thoughts on the UMPS CARE Charities and umpiring in the major leagues.
Q. Tell me about UMPS CARE Charities?
A. UMPS CARE Charities is the official charity of MLB umpires. We have two main initiatives:
1 – Ticket Program: We bring out kids to the ballpark for the day that are waiting to be adopted. We have a meet and greet with the umpiring team, give the kids goodie bags and gift cards to the consession stands at the ballpark. The goal is to provide the kids with a normal day at the ballpark.
2 – Hospital Visits: We do a Build A Bear program for children coping with a serious illness. We have a meet and great with the kids and their parents at hospitals. Sometimes we get team mascot’s to join us which the kids love.
Q. How did you become involved with UMPS CARE Charities?
A. A few years back all the MLB umpires got together and we agreed that we should be doing more and be better organized at giving back. All 68 MLB umpires are involved in UMPS CARE Charities.
Q. What’s more exciting to work, an All-Star game or Playoff game?
A. Working a playoff game is much more exciting. Big games are a challenge and you want perform the best at the highest level. Part of our job, unfortunately we are going to miss calls. We feel bad when that happens and we want to get every call right but we are human and we do the best we can.
Q. What is your most memorable moment as an MLB umpire?
A. I grew up as a Redsox fan, being a fan get’s washed out of you as soon as you become an umpire….but my most memorable moment had to be the first time I walked through the Redsox tunnel out onto the field at Fenway to umpire a game. My family was there and I will never forget that experience.
I had a great time speaking with Jim. He’s a great guy and I can really tell he is very dedicated to UMPS CARE Charities. Special thanks to Jim Reynolds for speaking with me and to the team over at UMPS CARE Charities for setting up the interview.