Major League Baseball umpires take a lot of grief during the season, and sometimes into the offseason. When everything goes smoothly, nobody mentions the umpires. If a close play results in a questionable call, fans often verbally attack the men in blue. Few people get to see the gentle and caring side of MLB umpires.
Gary Darling is a 23-year Major League Baseball umpire and worked his way up to crew chief. Many baseball fans know the name Gary Darling and recognize him as an umpire.
What most people don't know is that Darling is also the President of the UMPS CARE Charities Board of Directors. UMPS CARE is the official charity of Major League Baseball umpires.
The charity focuses on children. One of the great things they do is visit children's hospitals around the country with Build-A-Bears.
The umpires and others in the organization spend time with the children and help dress the bears with them. The other way they help out is by providing baseball game tickets to children that are waiting adoption. These children are given great seats during a game as well as pre-game stadium tours.
UMPS CARE Charities biggest fundraiser is an online auction. The auction is currently in progress and will be ending Monday, March 22, 2010. Over 100 items are up for bid, many of which are sports related. All proceeds from the auction will support the UMPS CARE Charities youth programs.
Double G Sports was lucky enough to ask MLB Umpire Gary Darling a few questions.