Big-league umpires are developed, not born intact. Four experienced big-league umpires have signed on to serve as instructors at the 2012 Major League Baseball Umpire Camp, which will be held in early November at the league's flagship Urban Youth Academy facility in Compton, Calif.
Major League umps Adrian Johnson, Ted Barrett, Mark Carlson and Marvin Hudson will be on hand to provide tutelage for the prospective umpires. Johnson will be in his first spin as an instructor, but Barrett, Carlson and Hudson will all be back for a return engagement at Umpire Camp.
More than 45 of the camp's prior attendees have gone on to attend a professional umpiring school and have later matriculated to the Minor Leagues. The MLB Umpire Camp takes umpires at the lower levels -- such as Little League, high school and college -- and gives them tools to expand their reach.
"I am proud to be associated with the MLB Umpire Camps, which have reached aspiring umpires, our servicemen and servicewomen and many who care about the game in the same way the Major League Umpires do," said Barrett as part of an official statement. "It is our duty to teach the game, its rules and its values to others, and we will strive to make it a great experience for all of its participants."
This year's camp will be held from Nov. 4-11 at the Compton Urban Youth Academy, and it will play host to a whole new crop of prospective umpires. Students at the camp get classroom instruction and field work, in addition to focus on positioning and conditioning.
Several members of the MLB Umpiring Department -- including umpire supervisors and supervisors from Minor League Baseball's Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation -- will be involved in the camp. Randy Marsh, the director of Major League Umpires, and Rich Rieker, the league's director of umpire development, will both be part of the instructional staff at the Umpire Camp.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com.