MLB Umpires Deliver Smiles To Kids Who Need Them Most

For years, Major League Baseball umpires have taken time out during the season to visit sick children in hospitals and deliver Build-A-Bear Workshops to their bedside.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, however, and with no baseball being played, our umpires had to come up with a back-up plan.

They were not going to forget these who are now more isolated than ever. So even though the umpires can not visit children undergoing treatment in hospitals, they shipped boxes of Build-A-Bear Workshop® furry friends and outfits, all-new UMPS CARE activity books and crayons and other baseball goodies! They even included T-shirts and handmade face masks for the hospital staffers.

MLB Umpires Mark Carlson and John Tumpane, both of whom call Chicago home, created special video messages for the kids and their families.

Our mission was accomplished yesterday when children at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago received their special deliveries from the umpires! And UMPS CARE is far from finished – we are busily working hard to ensure that we deliver more smiles to kids across the country.

We want to send special shout outs to our friends and partners at Comer Children’s, especially Tracy and her staff, our umpires for continuing to lend a helping hand during these challenging times and donors like Melanie Ahern, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eisai who have generously continued to support this program.

To learn more about our UMPS CARE BLUE For Kids program, contact Jennifer Skolochenko-Platt at