New York Umpire Clinic Boasts Major League Lineup
The 3rd Annual New York Umpire Clinic was held at the Edge Sports Complex in Vestal on January 11. Close to 80 umpires from all levels received training from a number of professional umpires highlighted by Major League arbiters Hunter Wendelstedt, Rob Drake and Lance Barrett.
Hunter Wendelstedt became acquainted with clinic organizers and area umpires Eric Olsen, Tom Augustini and Tom Kaminski when he was making his way through the minor leagues and worked many Binghamton Mets games on assignment from the Double-A Eastern League. He told them when he worked in a World Series he would come back and visit and be an instructor at their clinic. He worked the 2014 World Series and true to his word was on hand on Saturday.
Hunter had lots of experience being around the game of baseball growing up. His Father was Harry Wendelstedt, a veteran of 33 Major League seasons. His Dad worked in five World Series and four Major League All-Star Games. Following in those footsteps Hunter has now worked the 2011 All-Star Game as well as four Divisional Championship Series.
Rob Drake has been umpiring in the Major Leagues since 1999. He was behind the plate in 2012 when Felix Hernandez fired a perfect game in 2012 and was on the crew for this past season's NLDS series between St. Louis and the LA Dodgers.
Like Wendelstedt, Lance Barrett met the clinic's organizers when he worked the Eastern League and umpired a number of games at NYSEG Stadium. He met his wife here and he began his professional umpiring career in 2003. 2014 was his first full season in the Major Leagues.