If you've learned anything about me yet, it's how important my boys are to me.

You have also probably noticed that they both play youth baseball here in Amarillo and I dedicate a lot of my free time to them and their teams.

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See, I don't get paid to coach these boys teams. I do this simply because I love the game and I enjoy teaching it to these kids. Someone along the way taught me and coached me, and they did it for nothing either.

Well an integral part of the game is the umpire. See, without umpires there are no strikes or balls to be called, no outs at first base...and therefore, no games.

In the last year or so, there has been a bit of a shortage when it comes to umpires. Some are people who have just retired, and some just didn't have the time to do it anymore. It's left the kiddos in a lurch as we approach the season.

We played in a tournament this weekend in Lubbock. I saw some of the umpires out there wearing New Mexico youth baseball hats. We shouldn't need to import umpires all the way from another state just so these boys can play a game they love so much.

Umpiring is very rewarding, I've done it a couple times when I'm not coaching. You get to help mold these kids into players and young men. You teach them things if they do something wrong and you have to call them on it. They listen to you, then they don't do it again.

Furthermore, you get paid for EVERY SINGLE GAME you call. That's right, it's not some $12 an hour job, you get paid a flat fee for each game. The pay is pretty darn good too.

So what do you say, can you step up to the plate to help these kids...and your wallet? You can get info, as well as sign up to be an umpire this season at the Texas Panhandle Youth Sports website here.

If you have experience with the game, you can be an umpire. Please be willing to hop in so these kiddos can continue playing ball.

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