There are many stories about professional athletes giving back to communities. Some have formed their own charitable foundations.  Did you know that umpires are often just as involved ?

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central NY held their benefit golf tournament June 8 at Traditions at the Glen in Johnson City.  Two Major League Baseball Umpires were part of the group who gave up their off day to help.

Joe West and Rob Drake took part in the tournament to help raise funds and awareness for The Make-A-Wish Foundation that arranges experiences and "wishes" for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Drake has been in the area on many occasions.  He worked his way up the umpiring ladder in the Eastern League where he umpired on assignment at Binghamton Mets games at NYSEG Stadium.  He also has served as an instructor at the NYS Umpires Clinic held the past three years at the Edge Sports Complex in Vestal.  He has worked MLB Spring Training and regular season games since 1999 and joined the Major League staff in 2010.

Joe West has been a Major League Umpire for 38 years.  He is a Crew Chief and has worked numerous "big games" including five World Series and two All-Star games.  He began his Big League career in 1976.  He is a good enough golfer to have spent time on the Celebrity Players Tour.  He has designed his own line of umpiring equipment and sings country music.  He has even performed at the Grand Ole Opry.  He has also spent some time in front of the camera.  He was in the movie The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad.

Both umpires visited our WNBF studios to say hello and then drove to New York to umpire The June 9 New York Mets versus San Francisco Giants game at Citi Field. Look for them..helping kids.