Hope Star from Hope, Arkansas on March 23, 1968 · Page 1
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Hope Star from Hope, Arkansas · Page 1

Hope, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, March 23, 1968
Page 1
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PLAY WK (AW) STM, PrVH*f I* Oftor SlfflfOlf, *Lv: \ * *' During field exercises, Jim Scott, Huntinglon Park, Calif., calls "safe" . W hen the man in blue shouts "PLAY BALL!" on baseball diamonds •throughout the country, it may be the only tiling all fans will agree he has called right. Beyond that, his judgments and calls are subject to criticism or approbation. Preparing to take on the chore Tor', racing such decisions are men from all walks of life from all over the country. Weeks'before spring training and the first exhibition games, they gather af Daytona Beach, Fla., to take a six weeks course at the Al Somers Umpire School. The would-be umpires learn all the techniques, rules, methods and know-how to do the job properly, They spend six days a week going through field exercises. They learn how to call a play out or safe; how to-.move smodtlily Itf.lvv.e.e.n:. " "plays; where to stand and position themselves; what to do behind the plate and particularly how to handle the heavy and awkward gear they must wear while squatting behind the Acting school director Harry Wendelstedt reports daily to Al Somers, recuperating in bed from an auto accident. catcher. \ Three nights a week/three hours a night, i, they sit in classrooms to learn the rules, in- 1 trieacies and potential situations which might ^ arise on the field. \ The school is under the guidance of Al n Somers and a four-man staff of professional umpires. Al, who served in the American League for 28 years, took over the school from Bill McCowan, a 40-year umpiring veteran, who began it in 1943. The 72 students this year will help fill 30 major league slots and most of the minor league positions available. With an expansion in the major leagues predicted, together with the Umpire Development Program of the Major Leagues, addi- f .,.tih|[\illobs \\'il.l'be available for the graduates. ••*' J '- }! ] .tTifeh 1 decisimis,, based on the knowledge learned at the Al Somers Umpire School, may stir'angry reaction from some of the fans, but the umpire, they say, is always right. This Week's PICTURE SHOW by AP Photographer Charles E. Kelly. but Arthur Williams, Grand Rapids, Mich., says "out". --J Wendelstedt, a National League umpire, asks for class response to a field problem, Je§§e iracey, Panning, Calif., prepares, tp make a call ynder the eye pf Ron Ujelac, Texas league umpire. Former White Sox catcher Al Izuierdo takes part in the "out-safe" windsprint calisthenic drill. **.» Feet in motion, Arthur Williams looks towards the (ifid gyring home plait practice. When net deing, field §*?reiiis J R§y g9jfm§n, gn thf

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