Ma­jor league op­por­tu­nity

Um­pire from Ma­jor League Base­ball com­ing to Char­lot­te­town to con­duct clinic

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

A Ma­jor League Base­ball um­pire will be on P.E.I. early next year to con­duct a clinic for Is­land base­ball um­pires.

Stu Scheur­wa­ter, a Cana­dian um­pire who has um­pired in the ma­jor leagues since 2014, will be in Char­lot­te­town Feb. 9-11 for a three-day clinic.

“It re­ally is the op­por­tu­nity of a life­time for our um­pires,” said Kent Walker, su­per­vi­sor of um­pires for the P.E.I. Base­ball Um­pires As­so­ci­a­tion. “There has never been a ma­jor league um­pire on the Is­land to con­duct a clinic – or even in the Mar­itimes, as far as I know.”

But Scheur­wa­ter isn’t the only top Cana­dian um­pire com­ing to Char­lot­te­town. He will be ac­com­pa­nied by Trevor Grieve, con­sid­ered by many to be the best am­a­teur um­pire in Canada. Grieve, of Toronto, is a for­mer Mi­nor League Base­ball um­pire and of­fi­ci­ated the gold medal game in the last two World Base­ball Clas­sic cham­pi­onships.

“It took more than a year of dis­cus­sions to get the two to come to P.E.I.,” Walker said. “They were al­ways in­ter­ested in com­ing, but with their sched­ules, it was just hard to find the right time.”

Scheur­wa­ter, from Regina, Sask., is cur­rently the only Cana­dian um­pir­ing at the ma­jor league level and is the first Cana­dian since Jim McKean, who re­tired in 2001.

Scheur­wa­ter be­gan his road to the ma­jors in 2006 when he grad­u­ated from the Harry Wen­del­st­edt Um­pire School in Florida, and later made his pro­fes­sional um­pir­ing de­but work­ing the Ari­zona Rookie League in 2007. He pro­gressed through the dif­fer­ent lev­els of mi­nor league base­ball with stops in the North­west League and South At­lantic League (2008), Carolina League (2009), Texas League (2010 and 2011), then the Triple-A Pa­cific Coast League.

While he’s not yet of­fi­cially a full-time MLB um­pire, Scheur­wa­ter spent all of last sea­son in the ma­jors and could be named to the full-time staff as early as this Fe­bru­ary.

Prior to his pro­fes­sional ca­reer, Scheur­wa­ter was a mem­ber of Base­ball Canada’s na­tional um­pir­ing pro­gram that saw him work events like the Base­ball Canada Cup in 2005 (Medicine Hat, Alta.,) and the ju­nior na­tional cham­pi­onship in 2006 in Guelph, Ont.

While the Feb. 9-11 clinic will be lim­ited to Level 3 um­pires and above, Walker is hop­ing to sched­ule a meet-and-greet for younger um­pires, so they’ll have a chance to ask ques­tions of Scheur­wa­ter and Grieve.

“The two will be do­ing a lot of plate work with um­pires dur­ing the clinic”, Walker said, “as well as lengthy dis­cus­sions on game man­age­ment and other is­sues. It’s a unique op­por­tu­nity to learn from the very best.”

To en­sure um­pires get some one-on-one time with Scheur­wa­ter and Grieve, reg­is­tra­tion will be lim­ited to about 30 peo­ple, and the clinic will also be open to um­pires from New Bruns­wick and Nova Sco­tia, Walker said.

Be­cause of the lim­ited reg­is­tra­tion, he urges peo­ple to sign up well be­fore the Jan. 5 dead­line to make sure they’ll get a spot.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the clinic, con­tact Kent Walker at peibua@gmail.com.

SUB­MIT­TED IM­AGE

Two um­pires will be com­ing to Char­lot­te­town in Fe­bru­ary to con­duct a three-day clinic, Cana­dian Stu Scheur­wa­ter and Trevor Grieve. Scheur­wa­ter has been um­pir­ing in Ma­jor League Base­ball since 2014.

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