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Working for ‘a hot dog and a coke,’ Major League Baseball umpires started career paths as kids

With two decades of experience as a Major League Baseball umpire, Doug Eddings achieved his dream of officiating a World Series in fall 2019.

“I still pinch myself saying, ‘Wow, I did the World Series.’ It was an incredible World Series. Every game I had 12 to 14 family and friends in the stands with me. It was great. It was worth the wait for 21 years to have my first World Series,” he says.

Eddings, a Las Cruces native and Mayfield High School graduate, tried out for the Aggie baseball team before going to umpire school in 1989.

“Growing up as a kid I loved the game of baseball and played it,” Eddings says.

“I umpired my first game when I was 12 years old for a hot dog and a coke,” Mike Everitt says. “I really enjoyed officiating. I did basketball, baseball and even when I went to New Mexico State, I worked at the intramural department and officiated sports.”

Eddings and Everitt attended NMSU in the 1980s. An Aztec, New Mexico, native, Everitt received a music scholarship to NMSU. He went to umpire school in 1987.

They both made their major league debuts in 1999. Everitt, who umpired three World Series – in 2007, 2009 and 2015 – became a crew chief in 2017. He accepted a new role as an umpire supervisor in February 2020 and retired from on-field umpiring.

Looking back on his 33-year on-field career, Everitt says the highlight occurred in the regular season on June 20, 1996. It was his first MLB game, Toronto at Oakland, which Everitt had to call behind the plate.

“I’ll never forget it,” Everitt says. “I had to do some extreme breathing exercises to relax. The grass was meticulous and the lights made it seem like a day game.”