Meet the Staff
Michael Hill is in his first season as Major League Baseball’s Senior Vice President, On-Field Operations. Hill, who was hired in February, oversees MLB’s umpiring and on-field discipline at both the Major and Minor League levels.
Hill’s 27-year front-office career includes 18 years with the Miami Marlins -- seven seasons (2014-2020) as President of Baseball Operations following six seasons (2008-13) as General Manager. In 2020, the Marlins reached the Postseason for the first time since 2003 and won their Wild Card series against the Chicago Cubs. In 2014, in his first season as President of Baseball Operations, Miami made a 15-win improvement and became one of only three teams in Major League history to win 77 or more games following a 100-loss season.
Following his retirement as a Minor League player, Hill worked as an assistant for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1995-99 in the scouting and player development departments before joining the Colorado Rockies in 1999. Hill spent three seasons in Colorado, serving as the Club’s Director of Player Development before making his way to Miami. Hill was a 31st-round draft pick by the Texas Rangers in the June 1993 Draft. He played two seasons (1993-94) in the Rangers’ system and one year (1995) in the Reds’ organization before joining the Devil Rays’ front office.
A 1993 graduate of Harvard University, Hill was elected senior class marshal (the equivalent of class president) while starring as the Crimson football team’s top rusher and the baseball team’s captain. Michael was born and raised in Cincinnati, where he played football, baseball and basketball at the city’s Country Day School.
During his time in Miami, Michael was quite active in the South Florida community, volunteering his time at several elementary and high schools, and serving as a mentor for the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. In February 2016, the Hill Family Scholarship was launched as part of his commitment to philanthropy and education in South Florida. The scholarship is inspired by the core values of Michael’s family and looking to support a deserving student in the pursuit of a college career.
In addition, Hill has completed over 20 marathons and half marathons, the most recent being the World Marathon Challenge in 2018, in which he ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.
Rich Rieker became Director of Umpire Development in Major League Baseball’s Umpiring Department prior to the 2011 season. In this capacity, Rieker coordinates a wide variety of training and educational initiatives and works closely with the Major League Umpires. Rieker joined MLB in 2002 as an Umpire Supervisor after spending nine seasons as a Major League Umpire.
Since 2006, Rieker has been responsible for administering Major League Baseball Umpire Camps (MLBUC.com), based at MLB’s Urban Youth Academy in California. He continues to serve as the coordinator of the camps, which resulted from a joint effort by MLB, the World Umpires Association, the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation, the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring and the Wendelstedt Umpire School. In recent years, a series of free, one-day camps have been held in various locations throughout the country, as well as Puerto Rico. More than 100 scholarship recipients from the camps have gone on to attend umpire school, allowing professional prospects to get exposure, and over 150 professional umpiring careers have been launched as a result of the camps. In 2017, 22 attendees of the eight free, one-day camps attended pro mini camp in Fort Myers, Florida, in December and 10 advanced into pro ball this year on MLB scholarship. In addition, the camps have trained more than 800 military members and 5,000 attendees overall. Rieker has served as MLB’s liaison to the United States Marine Corps and Columbia College of Missouri as the organizations collectively developed the U.S. Marine Corps Officiating Certification Program, which allowed Marines to take courses that culminate in an internship at the MLB Umpire Camp.
Rieker developed and managed the production of the “Virtual Umpire Camp” CD-ROM, a first-of-its-kind product that illustrates the proper mechanics for two-umpire, three-umpire and four-umpire crews with umpiring signals in 3-D. The disc, produced in conjunction with the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation and Immersion Media, was utilized by all professional umpires and is currently in distribution worldwide. The “Virtual Umpire Camp” CD-ROM version 3.0 was produced for release in 2015. Rieker also was responsible for the coordination of the training and assignments of both Major League and international umpires for the World Baseball Classic.
Rieker worked in the Midwest (1983-85), Eastern (1985-86), American Association (1986-95) and Dominican Winter (1987-88) Leagues prior to joining the National League staff in 1996. During his tenure as a Major League Umpire, Rieker worked one All-Star Game (1998) and two Division Series (1999-2000). He also was an instructor at the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School for 16 years.
A native of St. Louis, Rieker graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration & marketing. Rieker, 57, resides in Orlando, Florida, with his wife Kathleen. He has two children, Jacob and Michael.
Matt McKendry, who has been with Major League Baseball since 2000, was first named MLB’s Director of Umpire Administration in 2012. In his current role as Senior Director, Umpire Operations, McKendry is responsible for administering day-to-day umpire operations and facilitating communication between MLB’s Umpiring Department, the Major League Umpires and Minor League Baseball. McKendry also assists in the scheduling of umpire assignments and maintaining records of information related to the Department’s programs and initiatives.
McKendry served in MLB’s On-Field Operations Department from 2002 through 2011, working first under the direction of Bob Watson and then Joe Garagiola Jr. His duties included investigating all on-field incidents and situations, assisting with disciplinary action decisions, monitoring pace of game issues, supporting the Uniform and Protective Equipment Regulations programs and administering his department’s stadium operations and groundskeeping projects. In that capacity McKendry assisted the Umpiring Department throughout the year with a number of administrative and research issues.
His first duties with MLB started in November 2000, working in the Club Relations Department under Phyllis Merhige after being a part of the New York Yankees’ Media Relations Department during the 2000 season.
Justin Klemm is Major League Baseball’s Vice President, Replay. Klemm was hired shortly after the approval of the system’s expansion for the 2014 season and was promoted to his current position before the 2020 season..
In his role, Klemm is responsible for the management of umpire involvement at MLB’s Replay Operations Center. Among his duties, Klemm handles supervisor staffing at the facility, and along with technical personnel, helps to coordinate the procedural configuration with the 30 Clubs.
In 2008, he became Executive Director of Minor League Baseball’s Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC). Klemm joined PBUC in 2004 as a Field Evaluator/Instructor before being named Executive Director, a capacity in which he worked closely with MLB’s Umpiring Department on a variety of issues, including mechanics, rule interpretations, Arizona Fall League assignments and new hires. In addition to being responsible for all personnel moves for 220 Minor League Umpires, Klemm guided a staff of six field evaluators and a medical coordinator while ensuring that qualified officials were in place for all 16 domestic Minor Leagues.
Prior to his administrative experience with PBUC, Klemm spent nine seasons as an umpire in the minor leagues, including four years in the Triple-A International League. As a call-up umpire, the native of Cataumet, Massachusetts, worked numerous regular-season games at the Major League level, and he was invited to work the Arizona Fall League on two occasions. He spent two offseasons umpiring in China and Australia in an effort to develop officials there. Klemm graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a degree in management.
Raquel Wagner joined Major League Baseball's Umpire Administration staff prior to the 2012 season after working for Major League Baseball Productions. She is the administrator for the Supervisor Umpire Review and Evaluation system, used to evaluate MLB umpires. Wagner also assists the Umpiring Department with various other duties, including Official Rule Book distribution and sales, maintaining schedules for Umpire Supervisors and Field Observers and handling umpires' tickets for games.
A St. Louis native, Wagner graduated from the University of Missouri in 2009. She currently resides in Weehawken, New Jersey.
Alejandro Bermudez joined Major League Baseball's Umpiring Department in 2018 after working for World Baseball Classic, Inc., as team coordinator for Team Puerto Rico. Prior to joining MLB, Bermudez worked in the boxing business for eight years, serving as the right-hand man of manager Luis DeCubas Jr.
A native of Miami, Florida, and a graduate of St. Thomas University, he currently resides in Queens, New York.
BIO TO COME!
Mike Everitt was named an MLB Umpire Supervisor in February 2020 following 21 years as a Major League Umpire, including his final three seasons as a crew chief. Everitt worked three World Series (2007, 2009 and 2015) and six League Championship Series in his career. Everitt was the home plate umpire for Kevin Millwood’s no-hitter on April 27, 2003.
Everitt played in the 1982 Connie Mack World Series and was a two-time All-State Music trumpet player in 1981-82. He is involved with the Hope Lutheran Church and is an active supporter of Umps Care and Calling for Christ, fellow Umpire Ted Barrett’s professional umpire ministry. The New Mexico native and product of New Mexico State University now resides in Iowa.
Cris Jones joined Major League Baseball as an Umpire Supervisor in 2005. In addition to evaluating games at the Major League level, he serves as the Umpiring Department’s Triple-A coordinator, assigning call-up umpires, overseeing and staffing the Arizona Fall League and assigning Spring Training invitees. Jones also is part of the core staff for MLB’s Umpire Camps as curriculum coordinator and heads the scholarship program.
The 2018 season marks the 32nd year in professional baseball for Jones. He umpired in the Gulf Coast League, Midwest League, Texas League and the American Association. Upon leaving the field in 1997, Jones became an Umpire Supervisor with the MLB Umpire Development Program, which reorganized in 1998 as the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC).
Jones played college basketball for Lincoln College and Quincy College in Illinois. He resides in Colorado.
Jeff Kellogg was named an MLB Umpire Supervisor in February 2020 following more than 27 years as a Major League Umpire, including the last 10 seasons as a crew chief. Kellogg worked five World Series (2000, 2003, 2008, 2010 and 2014) and six League Championship Series in his career. He was behind home plate for the no-hitters thrown by the Marlins’ Aníbal Sánchez in 2006 and the Rockies’ Ubaldo Jiménez in 2010. Kellogg was one of the Major League Umpires selected to represent MLB during the 2018 Japan All-Star Series with Nippon Professional Baseball.
The Michigan native received a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University.
BIO TO COME!
Jerry Meals worked 26 years as a Major League umpire. Meals was behind the plate when Kerry Wood matched a Major League record with 20 strikeouts in 1998.
He worked the 2014 and 2020 World Series. Meals was one of the umpires who represented MLB during the 2006 Japan All-Star Series. He worked the Toronto round of the 2009 World Baseball Classic and was behind the plate for Justin Verlander’s no-hitter at Toronto on May 7, 2011.
After more than 22 years as a Major League Umpire, Ed Rapuano began a new role as an Umpire Evaluator for Major League Baseball’s Umpiring Department in the 2013 season. He now serves as one of MLB’s Umpire Supervisors.
Rapuano became a member of the National League Umpiring staff in 1991. He worked two All-Star Games (1995, 2008), eight Division Series (1997-98, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008-10), five League Championship Series (1999-2000, 2002, 2004-05) and two World Series (2001, 2003) in his career. He ranks his first Postseason game -- the Division Series between the Astros and Braves at Atlanta on Sept. 30, 1997 -- as his proudest moment as an umpire. He became an umpire in New York-Penn League in 1985 after attending the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School.
The Connecticut native is married to Valerie and has three children: Eddie III, Rosalie and Nicholas. Rapuano has often instructed amateur umpires in his offseasons, and he also has participated in baseball clinics in Italy, where he has visited.
Following 20 years of umpiring in the Major Leagues, Charlie Reliford joined Major League Baseball as an Umpire Supervisor in 2010. He is one of Major League Baseball’s key liaisons to the Major League Umpires, particularly on rules interpretations and applications.
Reliford, who joined the Major League staff in 1991, began umpiring professionally in 1982. He has worked two All-Star Games (1996, 2007), four Division Series, three League Championship Series and two World Series (2000, 2004). He was the Crew Chief for the first Major League game in history to use instant replay on a home run boundary call in a game between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Sept. 3, 2008.
Reliford, who attended the University of Kentucky and Ohio University, is a former chief instructor at the Wendelstedt Umpire School. He also serves as a spokesperson for King’s Daughter’s Hospital Hospitality House Fund in Ashland, Kentucky. Reliford has one child, Logan.
Jim Reynolds officiated the 2014 and 2018 World Series, 2004 and 2018 All-Star Games and the 2004 Japan All-Star Tour during more than 23 years as a Major League umpire. The Massachusetts native worked the final game at Tiger Stadium and the first game at Comerica Park.
The University of Connecticut product long served as treasurer/secretary of Umps Care.
Bill Welke worked the 2015 World Series, four League Championship Series, five Division Series, three Wild Card rounds and the 2003 and 2016 All-Star Games during more than 23 years as a Major League umpire.
The Michigan native and his older brother, former Major League umpire Tim Welke, were paired on the same crew in the 2005 regular season and again from 2008-10.
Welke is a graduate of Western Michigan University.
A veteran of more than 23 years of Major League umpiring, Larry Young became one of Major League Baseball’s Umpire Supervisors in 2008, serving as a liaison to MLB’s active umpires.
Young joined the Major League staff in 1985 in the American League. He worked two All-Star Games (1991, 2003), six Division Series, three League Championship Series and two World Series (1996, 2003). Prior to his Major League career, Young worked at the Minor League level from 1978-82.
Young has served as the coordinator of umpires for the World Baseball Classic, which included the training of all international umpires for the WBC and the WBC Qualifiers. He has trained umpires in 21 countries and six continents, including the United States, Aruba, Australia, Canada, Cuba, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan and Venezuela. Young was the first active umpire to be a part of the game’s Playing Rules Committee. Young has worked as an instructor at many of Major League Baseball’s Umpire Camps held annually at MLB’s Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California, and around the country.
Young graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1976 with a B.A. in education. He is President of Larry Young and Friends Charities, which raises money for various organizations like Special Olympics, Hospice and the American Heart Association. He has been the recipient of the JC Penny Golden Rule Award, the Special Olympics Volunteer of the Year, Florida Diamond Club Umpire of the Year, the Goodwill Abilities Center Distinguished Service Award and the 2002 Gold Whistle Award, presented by the National Association of Sports Officials.
Young and his wife, Joan, have two children, Jessica and Darcy, and two grandsons, Bo and Gus. He is a pancreatic cancer survivor and is an advocate for those fighting the disease.
Dusty Dellinger guides a staff of nine umpire field evaluators and a medical coordinator while ensuring qualified Minor League umpires are in place for all 16 domestic leagues. He works closely with Major League Baseball's Umpiring Department on a variety of issues including mechanics, rule interpretations, Arizona Fall League assignments and new hires. Dellinger is responsible for all personnel moves including hiring, leave of absences and releases for all Minor League Baseball umpires. He coordinates all operational umpire meetings and deals directly with the Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU) on articles and policies contained within the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Dellinger joined Minor League Baseball Umpire Development in 2008 as a Field Evaluator/Instructor, and was named Director of Umpire Development in 2014. After graduating from umpire school, Dellinger spent 11 seasons as an umpire in the International, Southern, Carolina, South Atlantic and New York-Penn Leagues. During his five years at the Triple-A level, he was awarded two Arizona Fall League invites, and worked part time at the Major League level. Dellinger spent two offseasons umpiring in the Puerto Rico Winter League, and he was selected to umpire the Inaugural World Baseball Classic.
BIO TO COME!
Tyler Funneman develops Minor League Baseball umpires by observing, instructing and evaluating in accordance with the established Umpire Manuals and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). He serves to progress the Minor League Baseball umpires by refining their technical skill sets by continuously providing feedback so they may serve our member clubs well while assisting in the potential advancement into the Major League Baseball umpire system. Funneman is also instrumental in the recruitment process for new and aspiring umpires.
Funneman joined Minor League Baseball Umpire Development on a part-time basis in 2012 and was hired full time later that year. Prior to joining Umpire Development, Funneman umpired in the New York-Penn, Midwest, Florida State, Texas, Pacific Coast and Venezuelan Winter Leagues. He made his Major League debut in 2011 at Dodger Stadium. He also earned invitations from Major League Baseball to work in the Arizona Fall League and Major League Baseball Spring Training.
Darren Spagnardi develops Minor League Baseball umpires by observing, instructing and evaluating in accordance with the established Umpire Manuals and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Spagnardi serves to progress the Minor League Baseball umpires by refining their technical skill sets by continuously providing feedback so they may serve our member clubs well while assisting in the potential advancement into the Major League Baseball umpire system.
Spagnardi joined Minor League Baseball Umpire Development on a part-time basis in 2010 and was hired full time later that year. Prior to joining Umpire Development, Spagnardi umpired in the Gulf Coast, New York-Penn, South Atlantic, Carolina, Southern and International Leagues from 1996 to 2004. He also umpired part time in the Major Leagues during his four years at the Triple-A level, and worked in the Arizona Fall League and the Venezuelan Winter League.
Scott Sheridan joined Major League Baseball as Director, Umpire Medical Services, in January 2020, succeeding Mark Letendre. Sheridan spent 17 years with the Philadelphia Phillies, for which he served as head athletic trainer since the 2007 season.
A graduate of West Chester University and Neumann College, Sheridan earned his bachelor's degree in athletic training from West Chester in 1991 and a Master's degree in physical therapy from Neumann in 1998. He is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (1991) and American Physical Therapy Association (1998).
In 2005, he attained certified strength and conditioning credentials from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. With the Phillies, Sheridan served on PBATS' Electronic Medical Records and Medical Advisory Committees.
Steven M. Erickson, M.D. is fellowship trained and Board Certified in Sports Medicine as well as Internal Medicine. He also serves as the Head Team Physician for Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Erickson grew up in Tucson and attended the University of Arizona for his undergraduate training in Biochemistry before going on to graduate from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine training at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix and went on to Ball State University, where he received his sports medicine training and served as their team physician for two years. He is married to Dr. Laurie Erickson of Maricopa OB/GYN Associates, and they are the proud parents of triplet girls: Katherine, Lindsey and Nicole.
BIO TO COME!
Freddie Hernandez joined Major League Baseball's Umpiring Department in 2003 after working at Betelgeuse Productions. In his current post, Hernandez is responsible for all umpire-related video operations, including shooting game action video for umpires to review their mechanics, maintaining a database of umpire-related footage and providing umpires, supervisors and other personnel with specific video requests. A native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Hernandez currently resides in Manhattan.
Jeff Moody currently serves as the manager of instant replay for Major League Baseball. In this role, he is responsible for managing operations, assisting with the facilitation of the replay process and overseeing several key administrative functions.
Prior to joining MLB, Moody honorably served in the United States Navy for more than nine years as an active duty Intelligence Officer. During his military career, LT Moody deployed twice with US Navy Fighter-Squadron 37 Ragin' Bulls onboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in direct support of Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM. Following his operational tour, LT Moody served as a Team Chief in the Iran Branch at United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in Tampa, Florida. In this role, he led an 18-person analytical division and delivered weekly Intelligence briefings to the Commanding General and support staff on strategic level threats impacting the CENTCOM area of responsibility. During his final tour in the military, Moody served as a senior watch officer at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Quantico, Virginia where he was responsible for providing global indications and warning of terrorist, foreign intelligence, cyber and criminal threats to the Department of the Navy.
Moody's military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and numerous campaign and unit level medals and citations. In December 2015, Jeff transitioned from the Navy and shortly thereafter began working at Capital One Financial Corporation. Leveraging his military experience, he successfully established the operations and procedures for a global cyber threat intelligence watch center at a Fortune 500 Company.
A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Moody graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in history. He also completed his Master's degree in security and safety leadership from the George Washington University in May 2016.