Baseball Umpires’ Learning Blog

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Major Leagues Searching for Pitchers in India

At first I thought they were talking about the Cleveland Indians and then I thought they were recruiting players from Native American reservations. I was wrong on both counts. Millions of people competed to see who could throw a baseball faster than all the others. With so many people in India, I guess the odds are much better than looking here in the states where the populations are spread out and the average citizen knows that they would have to be paid millions of dollars.

Check out the following CNN article.

Indians are First for America’s National Pastime

It’s not about umpiring, but still interesting if you love the game of baseball. During my pro ball days, I umpired for Houston Astros teams in the Gulf Coast League and Texas Ranger teams in the Midwest League, Texas League and American Association. In one or more of those stops I spent some time around Tom House who now is the pitching guru of the major leagues. I remember him throwing a football during pre-game activities on the field and in the bullpen during games.

Dr. Tom House is also the answer to the following trivia question:
Who caught Hank Aaron’s 715th homerun blast?

Tom was in the left field bullpen and made the catch while Hammerin’ Hank was rounding the bases which most of us have seen numerous times.

December 12, 2008 - Posted by | Baseball Bits, Commentary | , ,


  1. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in India for four years, teaching Indian farmers the fine art of swine husbandry. I lived in a village of 200 people, a couple of whom spoke English, and they were instrumental in teaching me Marathi, the regional language of 40 million people in India. At the end of the work day, I would return to my mud hut and relax by throwing a baseball with the 8 and 9 year old neighbor kids who were fascinated by the ball. It differs markedly from the red cricket ball with its large raised seams. Their fathers invited me to play cricket with with the older lads on the village team. There is too much to go into in this post about the similarities and differences between cricket and baseball, but in my four years I saw some exceptionally strong armed players. A cricket bowler (pitcher), delivers to the batsman with and overhand delivery not unlike a catapult, in that the the elbow remains locked througout the windup and delivery . I wanted to introduce baseball to the villagers, but met much resistance from the dads who didn’t want their sons to learn throwing techniques that were an anathema to the game of cricket.

    If you read the article to which Shawn refers, you will also see some links to updates on the two spotllghted pitchers. Singh and Patel continue to make progress with the Pirates and it would not surprise me to see them catch on. Just imagine that a year ago they had never seen a baseball, much less thrown one. Baseball players in the majors played the game for fifteen or so years before they became professional athletes. They know the nuances of the game; they know strategy, they know how to behave. Singh and Patel have not had any of that, only strong, accurate arms, and the Pirates hope that they can be brought up to speed on the other things that are intuitive to players exposed to the game since birth. I think it is an interesting concept to take two people with no preconceived ideas on how to play the game, teach them what they need to know, and work with them without having to cull out bad habits. After all, that is how the Peace Corps worked with me. They they took a bright eyed, bushy tailed college graduate who had never seen a pig except as a pork chop on the table, and in 12 weeks, taught him the basics of swine husbandry, farm management, and how to get along with people in a different culture. Lets hope that what worked for training this pig farmer works as well for some strong armed eager youths from that very culture I came to love.

    Comment by Steve Johnson | April 10, 2009 | Reply

  2. This will show on how baseball have been globalized. And this blogs shows that baseball is not only for American people but also for the world and not all the best players came only in USA

    Comment by leovie | January 9, 2010 | Reply

  3. I think in a few years, maybe as many as 10, we’ll start to see players from both India and China. Their populations are so large that there has to be some talent out there.

    Comment by Jon A | September 19, 2012 | Reply

  4. if u look at the world baseball classic rt shows great advancement in baseball around the world ive umpriedin msbl and differant countrys play in irt s touraments/////// billy dougher 32 msbl/naba cbua

    Comment by billy dougher@323 | January 30, 2013 | Reply

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