UmpTalk #13: Seven Tips To Getting Back Into Game Shape

3248811693_0b482130b8_oFor those of us who don’t work a winter sport like football or basketball, the time is now to put down the remote, get off of the couch and get into game shape.  The season is just around the corner.

While I am not the most fit, and not many of us are, I do know quite a few tricks to get OUT of exercising.  So that makes me the perfect person to lay out some accountability on all of us. Let’s get started!

Here are seven tips to getting ready for that first pitch by getting our bodies back into game shape from the long winter.

A lot of umpires have, um… “softer” frames.  This is a way to working on that early and being proactive with your season so your mechanics are crisper, your calls are more accurate and you get into less trouble!

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Here are seven tips to getting back into game shape along with notes from the episode:

  1. Start.

    • Right now. Get moving. Get to a gym. Take the dog for a walk. Put down the Pringles. Whatever you’re doing right now, the best way to begin is simply to start.
  2. Start slowly

  3. Start with a plan

    1. Track your food and your workouts
    2. Schedule your workouts in your calendar
    3. Drink plenty of water before and after workouts
      • Rehydrate is a healthy alternative to Gatorade
    4. Plan out your food before games, and carry a cooler in the car of healthy snacks.
  4. Start with a friend

    • Working out with a buddy helps with accountability
    • Feel free to add me so we can compare fitness plans
  5. Start Mixing It Up

  6. Start Something New

    • Once you get into it for a few weeks – try something new.
    • As for help! Check with the folks at the gym. They’re there to help you!
    • Consider getting an hour of personal training time
    • Take a class. Yoga isn’t just for ladies!!
  7. Start With A Salad

    • Journal your food
    • Plan out your meals
    • Great book called Eat This, Not That

Good luck with your efforts to get into shape! Sound off in the comments below. What has worked for you?

UmpTalk #12: Harold Moya, Umpire and Author

Harold Moya has enjoyed a 40 year career in baseball as a player, coach and manager. Several years ago, he decided to add “umpire” to that list as he went to Professional Umpire School and was placed in the Independent Minor Leagues.

51joTQOQWGLFollowing his experience, he decided to write a book about his journey and experiences.

Harold Moya is our guest on Episode 12 of the UmpTalk Podcast.

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Keep the conversation going at, Facebook, Twitter and now listen to us on Stitcher Radio!

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Show Notes: Link to Harold’s Book:

Blue: A Professional Umpire Strikes Back

Pecos League

UmpTalk #11: Hunter Wendelstedt, MLB Umpire and Owner, Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School

SPORTS BBA-YANKEES-TWINS 8 MSHunter Wendelstedt was going to become a teacher. However, the “family business” had a higher calling for him and he followed in his father’s footsteps. Hunter and Harry Wendelstedt became the first ever father and son duo to  umpire a MLB game together in 1998.

Hunter did end up becoming a teacher, by the way, as he is now the owner and operator of the Harry Wendelstedt School For Umpires, the family’s other business.

On Episode 11 of UmpTalk, we talk with Hunter Wendelstedt about his father who umpired over 4500 professional baseball games. We talk with him about his own 15 year MLB career. We talk about concussions and, of course, we talk about Umpire School and “Safes and Outs.” logo2 So rarely do we get an opportunity to hear from the Men in Blue (or Black, or powder blue, but thankfully, no longer red) who work at the highest levels of baseball – listen closely towards the end of the interview when Hunter talks about how he spends every 7th Inning Stretch. Pretty cool stuff. Thanks to the folks at the Wendelstedt School for helping to set up the interview. iTunes43223322222Podcast42223242222  twitter_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thumb3322facebook_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thumb332[1]Google_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thumb_thum

Show Notes:

Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School Here’s a nice video by MLB on a look inside the Wendelstedt School The incident we spoke about in 2011 where Hunter got a concussion and finished the inning.

UmpTalk #10: Eight Ways To Speed Up Your Games

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Today’s episode is aimed at those umpires whose games seem to stretch on forever. Are your time limited games only getting to the fourth inning? Are your un-time limited games going past the two hour mark regularly? Are you getting off the field after 11 at night continually?  Well, this might be the show for you.

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UmpTalk #9: Jim Evans, Former MLB Umpire

Episode 9 is an interview with former Major League Baseball umpire Jim Evans.  Jim was a veteran of the MLB Umpiring Corps for 28 years getting his start almost literally off the street and ending up working in four World Series, seven AL Championship Series and numerous All-Star Games.

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He was a crew chief and after his umpiring days were done, he put his education degree to work by creating the Jim Evans Academy of Umpiring in the early 90’s.

Jim is one of the most dynamic speakers you’ll ever hear about umpiring and we spent some time recently talking about his academy, his umpiring career and his advice on the study of the rulebook.

Show Notes:

  • The Academy of Professional Umpiring – Link
  • Professional Baseball Rules Index – Link
  • Jim’s Equipment Company Force3 Pro Gear – Link
  • New Umpire Mask (Not yet out)

UmpTalk #8: Interview With Jerry Theilen and Rulebook Training

UTesterEpisode 8 features a unique way to learn the rulebook by a unique leader of a revolutionary league. We umpire Jerry Theilen of the Hernando Sumter Umpires Association.

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Show Notes:

Jerry is the Chief of the Hernando Sumter Umpires Association, but also helps run

Hernando Sumter Umpires Association

Umpire Tester

40 Umpiring Myths

Hernando Sumter Umpires Association

UmpTalk #7: Five Shades of Gray

Unlike the sweaty novel 50 Shades of Gray your spouse probably reads, we’re going to talk about the truly seedy side of umpiring this week – the unwritten shades of gray in baseball.

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We talk this week about those rules that, no matter how well defined, seem to evoke different interpretations in every umpire you ask.

The Five Shades of Gray: Continue reading UmpTalk #7: Five Shades of Gray

UmpTalk #6: Clifton Glidewell, JuCo, Former Minor League Pitcher

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GlidewellContinuing our interview series with a man who has had a very full baseball career and still growing by beginning a relatively new one in the Umpiring ranks.

Clifton Glidewell is a Junior College umpire in the Kansas City area, but also was a standout pitcher during a D-I career and a time in the Dodgers organization.  He has also served as pitching coach at the High School and Junior College level.

You can send comments or feedback about this or any episode of our show to

Music used with permission – Matt Wessel “You’re Out! (Ode to the Umpire)

UmpTalk #5: Nine Cold Weather Umpiring Tips

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It’s cold outside! Due to climate and the way high school and college schedules fall, baseball starts earlier and earlier. Since many of us cannot travel to warmer climates like Texas, the SouthWest or Florida to umpire in the late winter and early spring, we have to get games where we can.  And that means games starting in early to mid-February or stretching the season into October and November.

(A full set of links to cold weather gear can be found at

Sometimes, those fields are frozen. Sometimes there’s snow and other precipitation falling. And it’s important to make sure you prepare.  Here are nine tips for umpiring games in cold weather. Bundle up!!

  1. Check with AD or Head Coach on what temperature a game will be cancelled at and call ahead. Sometimes a field will clear and games will be played – especially when teams are traveling.
  2. Dress in layers
  3. Jackets
    • You can look like a boss and wear a plate coat – but since nobody wears plate coats anymore…
    • Layers is the key here. Not sensible to buy a winter umpire jacket unless you really need it, so you can buy a nice ump jacket a size up and then wear a sweatshirt underneath it. Trick is that you need to fit it all in your pants so don’t wear anything too bulky. Multiple thin layers is key.
  4. Functional gloves (not heavy snow shoveling gloves, but not super thin gloves)
    • Important to find those without logos, but that also have some tack. Some have recommended football receivers gloves, but I don’t like mine with any logos
  5. Wraparound head mask, thin, that will fit under a ballcap
    • These are super nice for the coldest games. It’s so important to trap that heat that’s released from your head. This covers your ears and your head and also neck. Plus it’s thin enough to use under your base had
  6. Hand warmers
    • Watch putting hands in pockets, but it’s clearly allowable when the weather is cold
  7. Tights – heavy ones
    • Don’t wear long johns – they soak up moisture, find a under-armor style – better yet, they now have some cold-weather spandex style pants – bonus points if you can find one made for an athletic cup
  8. Socks – if you can get it done, 2 pairs of socks, but they need to be comfortable
    • Stay moving.  don’t fall into trap of just being stationary. Get out there and move around a bit.

Things not to wear (since I’ve seen it) – Scarves, Logo’d jackets and warmup pullovers, tooks and stocking caps, wear your game cap on the field.  Full on hunters orange overalls.

Think warm and take heart… it’ll be spring soon!!

Umptalk #4: Greg Harmon–NCAA D-I Umpire, Topeka, KS Area

Greg Harmon is a D-I official for NCAA’s Big 12 and Big 10 Conferences.  He is based in the Topeka area and last year worked the NCAA Sectionals an important step to the College World Series. Greg has also worked the NCAA D-II World Series and umpires in the Missouri Valley, Summit Conference and MIAA.

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Greg talks about the importance of professionalism, handling situations and dealing with working multiple leagues. Continue reading Umptalk #4: Greg Harmon–NCAA D-I Umpire, Topeka, KS Area