Draft:Christine Wren

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Christine Wren (1949 – ) is an American former professional umpire. She was the second woman to umpire professionally in organized baseball, and the first woman to work for a full baseball season. Wren completed three seasons as an ump, working in the Northwest League for two years in 1975-1976, and in the Western League in 1977. She was hired to work an exhibition game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the University of Southern California in 1975. [1]

Biography[edit]

Wren grew up in Spokane, Washington. As a young woman, she played sandlot baseball, and later fast pitch softball, often playing catcher. After making the decision to pursue umpiring, she attended the Bill Kinnamon Specialized Umpire course in California, one of the country's leading umpire schools. She was then invited by Peter O'Malley, owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to officiate an exhibition game between the Dodgers and the University of Southern California. [1][2]

In 1975, Wren was hired to umpire in the Class A Northwest League. She officiated for two seasons in that league, from 1975-1976.[3] In 1977, she was assigned to the Class A Midwest League; during the season, she was invited by the league President, Bill Walters, to umpire the Midwest League all-star game. [4] After three seasons, she left umpiring to pursue other employment.[5]

Legacy[edit]

While Bernice Gera was the first woman to officiate a professional baseball game, she worked only one game in 1972 after winning a court case to break into the sport. As only the second woman umpire, Wren faced some doubt and skepticism that a woman could handle the pressure of officiating.[6] By working three full seasons, she achieved several firsts, and helped to pave the way for other female umpires who followed, including Pam Postema and Ria Cortesio.[1]

Wren was the first woman to work home plate in a game, calling balls and strikes.[7] In addition, she was the first woman to umpire a major league exhibition game, and the first to umpire a minor league all star game. The Baseball Hall of Fame Museum holds her chest protector in their collection, along with some scrapbooks from her officiating days.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Coffey, Alex. "Umpire Unmasked: Christine Wren opens up about her life as a baseball pioneer". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  2. ^ Heaphy, Leslie. "Professional Women Umpires". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  3. ^ Dorfman, H.A. (June 6, 1976). "Christine Wren: Another Season". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  4. ^ "An Umpire Named Christine". MWLguide.com. The Midwest League. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  5. ^ Mueller, Bobby. "The eighth female umpire to ever work in an affiliated league debuts in June". Call to the Pen. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  6. ^ Dorfman, H.A. (August 17, 1975). "Woman Umpire Story: The Perils of Christine". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  7. ^ Staff, People (July 14, 1975). "Kill the Ump? If It's Christine Wren, Kiss Her!". People Magazine. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Christine Wren Chest Protector". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 14 August 2019.

Category:Minor league baseball umpires Category:Women Category:Living people Category:1949 births Category:People from Spokane, Washington

Christine Wren[edit]