If you want to learn how to cut hair, you go to a cosmetology school. If you want to learn how to sell real estate, you go to a real estate school. But where do you go if you want to learn how to be a big league umpire?
Umpire school, of course!
And the most prestigious umpire school is Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring located right here in Kissimmee, FL. Even if you only want to remain an amateur at the college, high school or community level, you can improve your game by attending this five week long academy.
The course ranges in price from $2,250 for a local commuter with no meal plan to $4,250 for a private hotel room including breakfast and dinner. (Daily lunch is included in the tuition for all students.) The average student pays $2,950 for the course, shared hotel room and lunches. They are on their own for breakfast and dinner.
Jim Evans is the perfect person to run an umpire school. He has 32 years of professional umpiring experience in addition to a teaching certificate. As an umpire in four world series, nine league championship series and three all star games–two of them behind the plate–he offers a wealth of knowledge to his students.
He’s also a very hands-on teacher who is present all day, every day, at his academy. He even stays at the same hotel as his students.
One such student this year is Richard Riley from Springfield, VA. He is currently a real estate agent, but dreams of one day being a big league umpire. Richard has experience umpiring for community and high school games. Next year he may try his hand at some college games–but only if he does not catapult to his dream of becoming a big leaguer.
The academy is a rigorous course. The student-teacher ratio is 7 to 1. Each day begins promptly at 8am with a classroom session. There is 270 hours of supervised instruction, another 40-50 hours of homework, small group work, 20 sessions in the indoor batting cages, videotape cage work and training at the world class facilities of the Osceola County Stadium complex.
If your home run is to be a professional baseball umpire, it’d be a safe bet to attend the academy, located just down the line from Disney World. Don’t be left out, you’re sure to have a ball. Wow, does it strike you that these puns are really foul?
Okay, then, I’m Going, Going, Gone!