A woman's work is never done. Or, in the case of umpiring a big-league baseball game, rarely done. I picked up a Chicago Sun-Times before work this morning and came across an article about how minor league umpire, Ria Cortesio, is scheduled to be on the bases for tomorrow's Cubs-Diamondbacks game in Mesa, Arizona. She will be the first female ump in a major-league game since spring training games in 1989.
Cortesio is the only female umpire in pro ball. She will be in her fifth season at Class AA and ninth overall. "I was kind of expecting it," she said. "Umpires with my seniority usually get picked. I'm looking forward to it. There will be a lot more people in the stands than I'm used to."
Cubs first baseman, Derek Lee, commented, "It's awesome. I think it's about time. Female eyes are as good as male eyes. Why can't they be umpires? Good for her."
I think it's good for baseball, too. It is about time. I hope this story reaches girls who have thought that they might want to be an umpire but thought it wasn't their place. I wonder how long it will be until a female umpire gets to work a regular season MLB game.
During my college softball years I would hear comments, many times from other females, about how female umps were all terrible. Generalizations and stereotypes such as this are unfair, in my opinion. There are some terrible female and male umpires. There are also outstanding female and male umpires.
What are your experiences with female umpires? Do you support women as umpires in the major leagues?