A retired Major League Baseball umpire told Good Morning World attendees they were looking at a man who never had a job.
"I had an adventure," said Larry Barnett, a native of Prospect.
He delivered "Baseball from Behind the Umpire's Mask" during Tiffin University's breakfast lecture at Camden Falls Thursday morning.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Larry Barnett, a retired Major League Baseball umpire, speaks during Good Morning World at Camden Falls Thursday morning.
Barnett was an umpire for more than 61 years and retired in 1999, said Michael Grandillo, TU's vice president for development and public affairs.
"He has quick wit," he said.
Barnett recalled being a high school student in Elgin Local School District and, during study hall, seeing an advertisement for umpire school in an issue of "Sporting News."
"As a joke, (I) clipped it out, sent it," he said.
He started receiving literature and attended umpire school when he was 18 years old. He said his class had 73 students, and at the end of the class, he graduated at the top.
"I'd never umpired a day in my life," he said.
Barnett became a Major League umpire when he was 24 years old and was the first person to serve as an umpire in a playoff game, World Series game and All-Star game by the time he was 30.
According to a release from TU, Barnett became the youngest Major League umpire in history in 1968. He was the home plate umpire when Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played and was Major League Baseball's supervisor of umpires from 2000 to 2001.
"The players are great. ... We were blessed to see the best," he said.
Barnett now volunteers at veterans hospitals and said it is one thing he is proud that he has done. He said he spends a lot of time at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, formerly called Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and also goes to Brooke Army Medical Center.
"I do this as a volunteer with the Disabled American Veterans. ... We can be very proud of (veterans). All of our veterans, we must be proud of," he said.