Barry Pozzo looks at WMBL Commissioner position | DrumhellerMail
Last updateThu, 11 Apr 2024 9am

Barry Pozzo looks at WMBL Commissioner position




    Yes, those words do have a little ‘ring’ to them and local baseball enthusiast, Barry Pozzo couldn’t believe it himself when asked if he’d be interested in such a position.    Pozzo, involved with baseball (and America’s national pastime) since age 11 and had just reached his 40th year as an umpire last season, was approached and asked to consider becoming Commissioner for the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL).

    The WMBL is a pre-eminent summer collegiate baseball league which dates back to 1948. Many notable, both past and present Major League Baseball players have gone through the WMBL. This league consists of Alberta teams; Okotoks Dawgs, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and seven other western Canada franchises. Okotoks Dawgs president, William Gardner just returned from the WMBL Winter Meetings with the Board of Governors and Pozzo’s name came up at the meetings to be asked if he’d be interested in the position of League Commissioner. For numerous years, the WMBL appointed an in-house standing member to act as Commissioner, however, the League wants to take a new approach.
    The group thought Pozzo fit all their criteria as they’re looking for someone with a long and respected baseball background, varied credentials and experience in the baseball world as well as a good, sound knowledge of the game. The WMBL is also looking at appointing a Supervisor of Umpires. The League has an Umpire Scheduler in each centre, but no-one to oversee the entire operation of supervision of its umpires. Pozzo was asked to consider this role if he was not interested in the Commissioner’s position. When approached by Mr. Gardner of Okotoks last week, Pozzo said yes, he would be interested to further look at the offers but was not prepared to say yes or no just now. The Board of Governors for the WMBL is putting forth a package outlining the job descriptions of both the Commissioner and the Umpire Supervisor and will provide other details for Pozzo to review. Upon his review of the packages, and should he accept either position, Pozzo will meet with the WMBL Governors and various officials in the New Year.
    Pozzo, who started umpiring local ball when he was 11 years of age has called games from local House League Baseball to the Valley Men’s Fastball Leagues in the 1970’s through to the early 90’s and even pro ball. He began umpiring in the old Cemetery Ball Diamonds (where the Case Implement Farm dealership is located on Highway 10 East) for the Drumheller Saints Men’s Fastball team when he first donned the old balloon style umpire’s chest protector. He later became a member of Baseball Alberta, provincially in 1976, moved onto a national member with Baseball Canada in the early 1980’s where he became a supervisor, evaluator and instructor for Baseball Canada and its Nationally Certified Umpire Program.
    Pozzo attended Pro Schools and camps throughout the U.S. and umpired Spring Training in Vero Beach (Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgertown) and in Kissimmee, Florida at the Houston Astros Spring Camp. He has umpired pro ball at the Triple ‘A’ level for the Pacific Coast League (PCL) for 18 years in Calgary and Edmonton and worked games in the Pioneer ‘Rookie’ League when Medicine Hat (‘Baby’ Blue Jays) and Lethbridge (Mounties) were associate members.
    With his experience, he has sat on numerous boards with baseball groups and has spoken at many functions on baseball, is a lifetime member of the Minor League of Professional Baseball and is still actively engaged in umpiring local ball and is an Umpire Member for the Golden Baseball League (GBL) - Calgary Vipers and the WMBL.

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