LUBBOCK, Texas – Ten years ago, the College Baseball Foundation (CBF) began awarding a deserving official the National Collegiate Umpire Award, recognizing the efforts and sacrifice of game officials, who are a vital and integral part of the game.
Beginning in 2021, however, the CBF will honor an umpire each year by making that honoree a part of the annual National College Baseball Hall of Fame induction class. Also, each umpire who has already been honored will become a part of that year’s induction class instead of being recognized by a separate award.
“When we created the National Collegiate Umpire Award 10 years ago, we were also creating the nominating and voting process from scratch,” said Mike Gustafson, president and CEO of the College Baseball Foundation and National College Baseball Hall of Fame. “As time passed, it became obvious that our processes work, and obviously umpires deserve their status as inductees.”
The selection process to choose an umpire as an inductee will not change from the one used to select an umpire for the previous award, Gustafson said.
Past award honorees who will now become part of their year’s induction class include Dick Runchey (2011), Rich Fetchiet (2012), Dale Williams (2013), Henry “Hank” Rountree (2014), John Magnusson (2015), Gus Steiner (2016), Jon Bible (2019) and Randy Cristal (2020).
“I especially appreciate the fact that this applies retroactively as well as prospectively,” said 2019 honoree Jon Bible. “We are now officially inductees into the Collegiate Baseball Hall of Fame, which is a big deal.”