Murphy: Minnesota woman chooses longest road to majors: umpiring

From Brian Murphy at the St. Paul Pioneer-Press on June 10, 2017, on SABR member Emma Charlesworth-Seiler:

The grounds crew covered the infield with a tarp and vanished underneath the seats as the last concessionaires exited the ballpark and the stadium lights went dark.

CHS Field was a ghost town when Emma Charlesworth-Seiler emerged on the concourse with her postgame meal in a carryout bag and her professional umpiring notched on her belt.

A no-stakes exhibition game between the St. Paul Saints and Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks last month allowed Charlesworth-Seiler to absorb the moment she walked onto the field in full gear and exchanged lineup cards with opposing managers.

“It’s pretty amazing down there,” she said. “Obviously, you’re a little bit nervous. After the first couple innings, I settled down. Everyone was pretty cool. I wasn’t expecting anything, but I wasn’t going to be surprised by any comments; it’s part of baseball. But it was very relaxed.”

Complaints, confrontations, double takes and hard knocks await Charlesworth-Seiler later this month when she joins the Florida Gulf Coast League as the second female umpire on the lowest rung of Major League Baseball’s minor-league ladder.

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Originally published: June 12, 2017. Last Updated: June 12, 2017.