A Major League Baseball umpire will be on P.E.I. early next year to conduct a clinic for Island baseball umpires.
Stu Scheurwater, a Canadian umpire who has umpired in the major leagues since 2014, will be in Charlottetown Feb. 9-11 for a three-day clinic.
“It really is the opportunity of a lifetime for our umpires,” said Kent Walker, supervisor of umpires for the P.E.I. Baseball Umpires Association. “There has never been a major league umpire on the Island to conduct a clinic – or even in the Maritimes, as far as I know.”
But Scheurwater isn’t the only top Canadian umpire coming to Charlottetown. He will be accompanied by Trevor Grieve, considered by many to be the best amateur umpire in Canada. Grieve, of Toronto, is a former Minor League Baseball umpire and officiated the gold medal game in the last two World Baseball Classic championships.
“It took more than a year of discussions to get the two to come to P.E.I.,” Walker said. “They were always interested in coming, but with their schedules, it was just hard to find the right time.”
Scheurwater, from Regina, Sask., is currently the only Canadian umpiring at the major league level and is the first Canadian since Jim McKean, who retired in 2001.
Scheurwater began his road to the majors in 2006 when he graduated from the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School in Florida, and later made his professional umpiring debut working the Arizona Rookie League in 2007. He progressed through the different levels of minor league baseball with stops in the Northwest League and South Atlantic League (2008), Carolina League (2009), Texas League (2010 and 2011), then the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.
While he’s not yet officially a full-time MLB umpire, Scheurwater spent all of last season in the majors and could be named to the full-time staff as early as this February.
Prior to his professional career, Scheurwater was a member of Baseball Canada’s national umpiring program that saw him work events like the Baseball Canada Cup in 2005 (Medicine Hat, Alta.,) and the junior national championship in 2006 in Guelph, Ont.
While the Feb. 9-11 clinic will be limited to Level 3 umpires and above, Walker is hoping to schedule a meet-and-greet for younger umpires, so they’ll have a chance to ask questions of Scheurwater and Grieve.
“The two will be doing a lot of plate work with umpires during the clinic”, Walker said, “as well as lengthy discussions on game management and other issues. It’s a unique opportunity to learn from the very best.”
To ensure umpires get some one-on-one time with Scheurwater and Grieve, registration will be limited to about 30 people, and the clinic will also be open to umpires from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Walker said.
Because of the limited registration, he urges people to sign up well before the Jan. 5 deadline to make sure they’ll get a spot.
For more information about the clinic, contact Kent Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.