What a great 2023 we had – cannot wait to see all the wonderful things the new year will bring

Oh what fun we had in 2023!

UMPS CARE Charities had a lot to celebrate in a year filled with lots of smiles and plenty of joy.

Here are some highlights from the year we had just in case you missed anything:

January

UMPS CARE Golf Classic – A sold-out event under the Arizona sun as MLB Umpires golfed for good, rubbing elbows with UMPS CARE supporters at the Legacy Golf Club.

We honored a recent graduate from our UMPS CARE Charities All-Star College Scholarship Program – Katherine Atkins. Here’s a VIDEO clip in which Katherine shares what the program is all about.

MLB umpire Bill Miller (left) had a blast on the links in Phoenix to support UMPS CARE Charities and our programs. We will be back golfing in January! 

February

MLB Umpire Mark Carlson (below, second from left) took time out to inspire the next generation of umpires through our Official Leadership Program in which UMPS CARE Charities trains teensto learn social and emotional learning skills and umpire mechanics.  Mark met with about 30 participants in our Chicago program. 

March 

Kudos to the Minor League Baseball Umpires for coming together in Florida and Arizona to bowl in support of UMPS CARE Charities. The umpires did a tremendous job raising funds for our programs and continuing to grow the charity! The MiLB Umpires truly have created a special UMPS CARE community on and off the field.

April

We invited our first group of the season to a VIP visit at a Major League Baseball game, and this one was special. Veterans from Iowa drove up to meet MLB umpire Pat Hoberg before the game in Minneapolis!

MLB umpire Pat Hoberg honored the service of these veterans from his home state of Iowa before a Minnesota Twins game. 

May

UMPS CARE Charities kicked off its Stars & Strikes campaign inviting participants from the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy and their family and friends to ballparks across the country. This campaign runs from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July. Special thanks to our friends at Ump Attire for selling limited-edition hats and challenge coins to help send veterans now working as umpires to meet Big League umpires! 

UMPS CARE also welcomed two new members to our All-Star College Scholarship Program – Caroline Mackey and Deanna Lescouflair ! Thanks to added support from Deloitte and the Marcum Foundation, UMPS CARE was able to support an additional student this year! Each year, UMPS CARE provides $10,000 to four to five students who are seeking their college degree. The All-Star College Scholarship Program is open to children who were adopted later in life, and each recipient is matched with an MLB Umpire who will mentor him/her throughout their college journey. Keep an eye out for our application, set to go live in February 2024!

MLB umpires Chris Segal (left) and Ben May (right) saluted the service of WWUA participant Seantoya Hinton before a Pittsburgh Pirates game. 

Caroline (left) is from Chandler, Arizona, and is a freshman at Colorado Christian University. Deanna (right) is a freshman at Rutgers University in her home state of New Jersey. 

June

The Blue for Kids hospital visits started on May 31 with a visit to Boston Children’s Hospital and we delivered more Build-A-Bear® joy to kids throughout the year. In all, umpires visited 15 pediatric hospitals, delivering 100 Build-A-Bear® furry friends at each one.

On June 27, UMPS CARE delivered 100 Build-A-Bear® stuffed toys to children at Seattle Children’s Hospital, marking the 20,000th Build-A-Bear delivered through this program since it started in 2006!

(L to R) MLB umpires Mike Muchlinski, Alan Porter and Jim Wolf bring smiles to the faces of patients and their families during a visit at Boston Children’s Hospital. 

(L to R) Umpires Mark Carlson, Brennan Miller and Derek Thomas were part of a special UMPS CARE milestone, delivering the 20,000th Build-A-Bear® stuffed toy to a patient.Our program started in 2006. 

July

UMPS CARE Charities was proud to salute the service of veterans who are participating in the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy over the Fourth of July holiday. One group from WWUA got to snap pics on the field at Fenway Park. 

Meanwhile, we started inviting groups to meet umpires at the Triple-A ballparks! Lots of fun for youth-based organizations such as this group from the Miracle League in Nashville.

August

August was a busy month for our Official Leadership Program, which trains teens in umpiring mechanics onthe field and in leadership skills in the classroom. Our 6-week course in Houston has been a big success – this year marked our third consecutive year training teens at the MLB Youth Academy in Houston!

September

Our friends from Out West Officials – Dax Upton, Randy Upton and Brandon Riley – held their third edition of the Official-ly Fore Kids golf tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah, to support UMPS CARE and our programs! Funds raised from this event made it possible for them to make a visit to Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and deliver 100 Build-A-Bear® joy to kids undergoing treatment. Check out the smiles from that day!

October

Umpires Brennan Miller and Chris Segal (below) hosted their 3rd Annual East Coast Classic in Clifton, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C. The event was a wonderful success and raised funds for a visit to Children’s National Hospital. 

November

Chandler Durham, a Minor League Baseball umpire, and former MiLB umpire Dave Martinez (below with his traveling bear!), participated in the second year of their Bike for Bears campaign to raise funds for our hospital program. This year, Chandler and Dave brought friends to join in, making the campaign a huge success! 

UMPS CARE also hosted our 3rd Annual Eric Cooper Memorial Bowling Tournament presented by the Iowa Cubs this month. We are so grateful to the Iowa community for its continued support for this event and for continuing the legacy of MLB umpire Eric Cooper alive. 

MLB umpire Pat Hoberg (left) with Eric Cooper Memorial All-Star College Scholarship recipient Marcus Lo and MLB umpire supervisor Mike Everitt at our bowling tournament in memory of Coop. 

December

UMPS CARE also was thrilled to see students complete our Official Leadership Program held at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, California! These students learned about goal-setting, financial literacy and perseverance in the classroom and umpire mechanics on the field! They are ready to go to the fields!

We are excited to do it all again in 2024!

Thank you to everyone who donated, volunteered and sponsored our programs.

We appreciate your continued support.