Independent Baseball Insider – by Bob Wirz
While its sister league, the Can-Am, is basking in the joy of one of its former umpires reaching official fulltime duty in the major leagues, no less than five former American Association arbiters have gotten themselves on the path that could one day see them at the same level.
Kevin Winn, who is director of umpiring for both leagues, happily told us four of last season’s American Association umpires returned to umpiring school and have been hired by major league baseball. Harrison Silverman, Sam Burch and Randy Wilmes have won the opportunity to be assigned to a rookie league after only one season in the AA. Darius Ghani is getting the same opportunity after two Independent seasons.
In addition, another American Association umpiring grad, Ron Teague, has just finished a season in the Dominican Republic, which is considered an important assignment from Major League Baseball. Teague is scheduled to be a crew chief in the Class AA Texas League this season.
Onetime Can-Am umpire Will Little was one of three umpires awarded full-time major league status recently. He is only the second umpire to come out of any Independent league and earn his fulltime card. Little worked in the Can-Am League in 2007.