Each week during the baseball season, The Sun will put a...

Q & A

April 14, 1994

Each week during the baseball season, The Sun will put a few offbeat questions to people who work in and around the sport. This week, AL umpire Jim Evans talks to Sun Staff Writer Peter Schmuck about lost luggage and long road trips.

Q: The average fan doesn't think much about the umpires when they aren't on the field, but the travel regimen has to be as grueling for you as it is for the players.

A: That's the thing we hear from people all the time -- you guys must travel as much as the players do. We actually travel considerably more than the players do. The players play half their games in one location. For most of the umpires, there are no home games. The travel is one of the toughest parts of the job . . . being able to stay mentally prepared every day.

Q: The normal road trip is six to nine days for the players. How long is the average trip for an umpire?

A: During the six months of the season, each crew gets three one-week breaks. There are eight crews and one crew is always off, so each crew is off for a week every seven weeks.

Q: How do you pack for a 49-day road trip?

A: Everything has to coordinate. You take three or four sports coats and pants that match each coat. Sometimes, it's not a very practical way to travel, but we have a dress code. When you're flying, a coat is required and when you come to the park, you wear a sports coat. There is a professional image to keep up.

Q: It all seems pretty complicated. Who takes care of all the arrangements?

A: On a crew, we divide the responsibilities. One guy is in charge of the rental car. One guy makes hotel reservations. Another guys makes airline reservations. The main thing is to work together as a crew.

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