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Umpire ‘with a personality’ gets the call to the big leagues

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Tom Woodring has experience in several leagues, including the Pacific Coast, Gulf Coast, California, Eastern and Arizona Fall League.

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

From Omaha, Neb. to Yankee Stadium in 24 hours - that's what happened to former Pacific Coast League umpire Tom Woodring this week.

Woodring was scheduled to work the Omaha-Round Rock series in Omaha, but after his plane landed he got the call to the big leagues. He umpired his first game in Yankee Stadium in the Yankees-Cubs game on April 16.

Not a bad way to make your debut.

According to, Woodring began his MiLB umpiring career in the Gulf Coast League and worked the California and Eastern Leagues before his promotion to Triple-A. The site says he also worked the 2012 All-Star Futures Game and 2012 Arizona Fall League.

When I tweeted the news about Woodring's promotion - Ryan Verdugo, a pitcher in the Royals farm system - responded.

"Good for him," Verdugo said. "He's a good guy. I had him back in the CAL league also ... he's actually an ump with a personality."

That's not to say other umpires lack personality, but Verdugo was saying Woodring shows his on the field. So I asked him what that looks like.

"He actually jokes with players and you can ask him stuff without him getting mad or defensive," Verdugo said.