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Island umpires learning from the best

Major League Baseball umpire Stu Scheurwater, right, goes through some drills Saturday at Holland College in Charlottetown during a three-day clinic. From left, Jonathan Schut of Charlottetown acts as the hitter, Patrick Young of Charlottetown is the catcher and Jack McCabe of Miminegash is the umpire.
Major League Baseball umpire Stu Scheurwater, right, goes through some drills Saturday at Holland College in Charlottetown during a three-day clinic. From left, Jonathan Schut of Charlottetown acts as the hitter, Patrick Young of Charlottetown is the catcher and Jack McCabe of Miminegash is the umpire. - Maureen Coulter

MLB umpire, Canada’s top amateur team up with to put on clinic in Charlottetown

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – There’s more to baseball for Major League Baseball umpire Stu Sheurwater than just officiating the game.
“For me, it’s all about giving something back,” Sheurwater said. “I’m very fortunate to be where I am, so I try not to forget that and whenever I can, I try to help out someone else.”
Sheurwater, the only Canadian umpire in Major League Baseball, is from Regina. He was in Charlottetown last weekend to conduct a three-day training camp for up-and-coming umpires.
The camp was organized by the P.E.I. Baseball Umpires Association (PEIBUA) and Baseball P.E.I.
“They have a great association here and their umpire association executive works really hard, so we were more than happy to come here and help out,” Sheurwater said. “And not only did they learn a few things, we all had a great time.”
That thought was echoed by Trevor Grieve, who conducted the clinic with Scheurwater.
Grieve, from Toronto, is considered by many to be the best amateur umpire in Canada. He umpired the gold medal game in the last two World Baseball Classics.
“We had a great group of umpires here, who were willing to listen and work hard all weekend,” Grieve said. “It was a lot of fun for us, too.”
Kent Walker, the supervisor of umpires for P.E.I., said the clinic took a long time to put together.
“It took more than a year of discussions to get the two to come to P.E.I.,” he said. “They were always interested in coming, but with their schedules, it was just hard to find the right time.”
But the wait was well worth it, Walker said.
“The amount of preparation Stu and Trevor did was amazing,” he said. “And the amount we got covered in three days was also astounding. Everyone who talked to me after the clinic said how much they were impressed by the quality of the clinic, and how much they learned from Stu and Trevor.”
Scheurwater passed on some tips for anyone wanting to excel at umpiring.
“First of all, you need to have some talent and desire, and sure, there’s some luck involved, but the rest is just hard work. Like anything, if you want to be a good umpire, you have to work hard at it.”
Scheurwater said anyone who enjoys baseball should give umpiring a try.
“It gives you a whole new perspective on the game.”
Walker noted the umpire association has clinics starting in April for anyone wanting to umpire. The clinic dates are on the association website at www.peibua.com.
“The PEIBUA is a well-run association,” Sheurwater said. “They worked really hard to organize this clinic for us and it was well done. They made our job easier by taking care of everything while we were here.
“If you take a clinic from the PEIBUA, I’m confident you’ll learn a lot about umpiring and you’ll have a lot of fun with it.”
Scheurwater now has a small window of down time as he doesn’t have to report to Spring Training until Feb. 22.
For Grieve, it’s back to Ontario and getting ready for their upcoming provincial clinics.
“I’ve been to P.E.I. a couple times now and I really enjoy it,” Grieve said. “I hope I can get back again soon.”
The clinic was attended by 27 umpires from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, as well as P.E.I. umpires, and Walker said it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“As far as I know, this is the first time a Major League umpire has put on a clinic in the Maritimes,” he said. “And I think it will be a very long time before we’ll see it happen again. It’s quite a feather in our cap.”

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