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The National Association of Sports Officials says that there is a need for officials at every level of competition. There are plenty of opportunities for part-time umpires at the high school level. There are also jobs at the college and semiprofessional level. Just as it is difficult for a baseball player to get all the way to the major leagues, it is difficult for umpires to get a job in the major leagues. However, with talent and hard work it is possible.

Baseball Umpire Famous Firsts

Here are some famous firsts in umpiring. You can find more on the Major League Baseball Web site (http://www.mlb.com).

1876 – William McLean became the first professional umpire when he umpired the first game in National League history between Boston and Philadelphia on April 22.

1903 – Hank O'Day and Thomas Connolly worked the first modern World Series, which pitted the Boston Pilgrims against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

1951 – Emmett Ashford became the first African American professional umpire when he began working in the Southwestern International League.

1972 – Bernice Gera became the first woman to umpire a professional baseball game when she worked a Class A New York

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