Coffey: Umpire unmasked: Christine Wren opens up about life

From Alex Coffey at on September 23, 2016:

A lot can be garnered from the way Christine Wren found out she was to be the second female umpire in professional baseball history.

The year was 1976, and Wren was working in an auto body shop. One of her co-workers answered the phone – a call from Peter O’Malley, former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers – and immediately hung up, assuming it was a joke. O’Malley, not one to back down that easily, called again, asking for the owner. This time, Christine answered the phone. She too, thought it was a joke – until she recognized the owner’s voice from television programs.

“I thought it was somebody pulling games,” Wren said in a phone interview. “When I talked to O’Malley on the phone, I recognized his voice. He then asked me to work an exhibition game between the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Wren had been attending the Bill Kinnamon Specialized Umpire Training Course in Southern California at the time, and had spent countless hours officiating every sport from football to basketball. Her chance to prove herself had finally arrived, on one of the biggest stages imaginable – Dodger Stadium. She remembers that game vividly, as the highlight of her umpiring career, and credits it as one of the reasons she was chosen to umpire in Class A.

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Originally published: September 26, 2016. Last Updated: September 26, 2016.