Perry Barber, a longtime professional umpire, author, and promoter of women in baseball, was honored at SABR 48 on Thursday, June 21, 2018, with the inaugural Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Women in Baseball committee meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Continuing a tradition of female umpires that stretches back to Amanda Clement in the early 1900s, Barber has umpired around the world at every level of the game. No matter where she is, she is a constant champion of women and their participation in America’s National Pastime.
SABR’s Women in Baseball Committee established the Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award — “The Dorothy” — named in honor of Dorothy Seymour Mills and her lifetime of contributions to promoting women’s baseball.
- Read more: Click here to read Dorothy Seymour Mills’s prepared remarks about the 2018 award winner, Perry Barber
Barber has been a professional umpire since 1981, umpiring more than 6,300 games to date. She and her twin sister attended umpire school when women were not wanted and her perseverance paid off with her graduation. Barber has umpired at all levels of the game, including Major League Baseball’s spring training. Her umpiring has taken her around the world to places such as Japan, Guam, Hong Kong, and the Caribbean.
In addition to her own umpiring, Barber has been a tireless advocate for giving other women opportunities to play and umpire. Whenever possible she hires other female umpires for the tournaments she has been involved in, such as Baseball for All Nationals and the Boston Red Sox women’s fantasy baseball camp. One of the young women she brought in to umpire, Emma Charlesworth-Seiler, is now working as an instructor at umpire school and became only the eighth woman to umpire in professionally affiliated baseball in 2017.
Barber also conducts umpire clinics, speaks about umpiring and women’s baseball, and serves as a board member for the International Women’s Baseball Center and an advisor for Baseball for All.
To learn more about the Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award, click here.
Originally published: June 21, 2018. Last Updated: April 24, 2020.