THIS IS EPISODE 21 OF THE SPORTS SPECTRUM PODCAST
Ted Barrett has been umpiring Major League Baseball Games since 1994.
He became a full-time MLB umpire in 1999.
Ted is the only umpire to ever be behind the plate for TWO perfect games. (David Cone in 1999 and Matt Cain in 2012)
He has umpired in 3 World Series including the Red Sox Championship in 2007, the Cardinals title in 2011 and the Giants beating the Royals to win it all in 2014.
Barrett is an ordained minister and recently completed his doctorate in theology.
He is the co-founder of CALLING FOR CHRIST, a ministry serving professional baseball umpires.
On this episode of the podcast, Ted Barrett takes us behind the curtain to what life is really like as an MLB Umpire. We also look back at his most memorable games as well as what it’s like to be behind the the plate for a World Series. Ted’s faith is strong and his story of faith is certain to inspire.
2:20 – How the 2017 season has been going thus far.
3:40 – What the travel is like as an MLB umpire
5:00 – Is there any down time during the season?
6:25 – When his faith in Jesus started.
9:00 – When did he decide he wanted to become a MLB umpire after playing football in college.
10:25 – Being selected to the minor leagues to begin a professional umpiring career.
11:40 – His journey as a minor league umpire before getting called up to the Majors.
16:30 – The day he got called to the Big Leagues.
20:00 – Being hired as a full-time umpire in 1999.
21:20 – Calling his first perfect game in 1999 — Yankees/Expos (David Cone)
22:50 – 13 years later, calling a second perfect game. Only umpire ever to do that from behind the plate.
24:30 – On the pressue of being an umpire behind the plate during a perfect game.
26:05 – Craziest thing he’s ever seen in a game that he has umpired.
30:15 – Umpiring in the World Series.
33:40 – The struggle in identity between being a follower of Jesus and an MLB umpire.
38:10 – Being an ordained minister and getting his doctorate in theology.
40:50 – On his son following in his footsteps as an Umpire.
42:05 – What is God teaching him right now?
“The average fan would be shocked if they saw our schedule. We’re on a plane every 3 days.”
“The players are home half the time during the season with their families. We’re on the road for the entire 26 weeks including spring training and postseason. I won’t get back home until November.”
“It’s a tough existence and you get no breaks in the minors. You leave for spring training and you don’t come back until September. It’s a hard existence.
“Concentrate, take one pitch at a time. When the last out was played, I went to the locker room with my fellow umpires and we huddled up and prayed and thanked God for that opportunity.”
“There’s a lot of pressure but it’s also really cool. This is what we work for, to get a World Series.”
“It’s just another game in the big picture.”
“God showed me that you can strive for things in this world and achieve things, but they really don’t add up to anything internally. The only thing that really matters is our relationship with Jesus.”
“You can’t have one foot in the umpire world and one foot in my world. I felt God calling me to ministry and telling me, it’s all me.”
“We make these deals with God and he just sits up there and laughs.”
“There’s this wrestling match going on with God until finally I surrendered.”
“God said, ‘I want you in ministry but as an umpire.'”
“I wanted to learn all I could about the Bible.”
“You can fill your down time with good stuff or bad stuff and I choose to read.”
“Whatever job you’re doing, wherever God has you, he’s placed you there strategically because he wants you to reach the people around you.”
“You are in full-time ministry as a follower of Jesus, whatever job you’re in.”
“God is stripping me of everything. My pride, my ego, any desire for earthly things, achievements, accomplishments. He’s making me solely concentrate on him.”
Ted Barrett is the only umpire to be behind the plate for TWO Perfect Games. (David Cone, NYY, 7/18/1999; Matt Cain, SF, 6/13/2012) #MLB
— Alex Cheremeteff (@AlexCheremeteff) May 16, 2017
You can learn more about Ted’s ministry by going to callingforchrist.com.