American Association and Can-Am League Director of Umpires Kevin Winn points out that three of his “graduates” to affiliated leagues are serving as instructors this fall in what is known as The Umpire School, one of two such operations which help arbiters qualify for assignment to the minor leagues.

Clay Park (now in the Texas League) and Rich Grassa (South Atlantic) worked in both of Winn’s leagues before getting their opportunity while Ron Teague (Texas) spent five summers in the American Association. Five current umpires from the two leagues are enrolled in the same school and hoping to win affiliated jobs. They are Michael Carroll, Derek Ivinski, Ben Sontaag and John Durante of the AA and Tim Kramer from the Can-Am.

(Bob Wirz also writes about Independent Baseball on Fans may subscribe to this Independent Baseball Insider column, which will be published 40 times in 2013, at or comment to The author has 16 years of major league baseball experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners, and lives in Stratford, CT.)



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