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bluejersey

1st time going to CDP, need some info

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bluejersey    11

Hi All,

So I decided on a whim to look into CDP for this summer and ended up hooking up with a team for week 13. The info provided in various threads on this site is excellent and I've read through the info provided on the website as well. However, I still have some questions/curiosities...

1. I keep all of my uniforms hanging in my car and my equipment in my trunk since parking lots are the umpire's locker room. Will I be able to continue this practice at CDP or will I need to bring all of my stuff into the bunk?

2. Do most guys bring laptops/is this acceptable? I plan to disconnect from the "real world" as much as possible and focus on the experience, but I may need to send the occasional email for work.

3. Once the tournament portion starts, should I still expect 3 games per day? Will I know my entire schedule in advance?

4. How cold does it get? Do I really need to bring my jackets?

5. What's the average age of umpires at CDP? I'm on the younger side, but don't care either way. I'm just curious.

Thanks in advance guys. Also, any info worth noting that's not covered in my questions would be greatly appreciated!

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Hi @bluejersey All great questions... You will bring your uniforms to the barracks. We all hang them at the end of your bunkbed, some people bring an extra bar to hang it up but they will be in your barrack... You are allowed to bring laptops. The wifi isn't the best but under the tent (where we eat) is the only place that gets reception... There is also an office where they have 3 computers we can use that I would suggest. It really depends how many games per day, so the way it works is you are put on a crew (with a crew chief) for the week and you are assigned one field for that week. You, your crew, and crew chief will come up with the schedule on saturday. You can expect 2-3 games per day. The more umpires there is the bigger the crews will be the less amount of games. Most crews will either have 4-5 umpires, so as far as how many umpires it really depends. Yes I would bring a black jacket with you, the weather at CDP is very weird. They will give you a navy blue CDP jacket as well. 

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ZebraStripes    258

I suppose you could leave them in the car, but you will do a heck of a lot of walking to get a uniform for each game. 

When I was there last year I was getting wifi coverage in the bunkhouse 33B.  That had not been the case the year prior though. 

You can normally work as many games as you want.  I averaged 3 a day for the first 4 days last year.  The fields will schedule a 2 man crew but you can go 3 and 4 man to work on new skills. 

It gets cold.  Granted I have always been up there in week 1, but my first time it was 93 when I left Georgia and 53 when I got there.  Add some rain to that and you will want a jacket.  Black jackets seem to be in short supply up there.

I've been there three times and I have seen 18 year olds and a 93 year old.  There is a wide assortment so I have no clue what to tell you about the average.

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bluejersey    11

One more question as I prepare to drive up tomorrow:

What interaction, if any, do I have with the team that I am representing? I hooked up with a random team through this forum so I don't have a personal relationship with them.

 

Thanks for the replies. It's a bit unnerving for me to go into something knowing next to nothing about what I'm getting myself into, but I'm looking forward to it!

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MadMax    1,218
1 hour ago, bluejersey said:

What interaction, if any, do I have with the team that I am representing? I hooked up with a random team through this forum so I don't have a personal relationship with them.

So you anticipate arriving tomorrow (Friday) afternoon / evening?

First, get yourself checked in. Depending on the time you arrive, they might have the housing complex gates coned-&-opened to allow drop-off traffic in. You're headed for Umpire Alley. 7 of the 10 Umpire Bunkhouses (Shacks) are on the Alley, with 3 others nearby (Area51, 40Brother, 41Bravo). Drop your stuff off in Umpire Alley, and go park your car in Lot C (the traffic coordinators might direct you to Lot C at the beginning, especially if you don't have much of anything to bring in. If that's the case, park in Lot C, gather up your stuff, and head to Umpire Alley on foot, or flag down a CDP utility cart driver). Once you find a bunk (bad juju to take a bunk already tagged or spoken for, FYI), take your ID and head up to the Big White Tent to get checked in.

There, you'll meet either Todd, John Carr, or both. These two are your Umpire Directors for CDP. You'll need to sign a form or two, get your wristband (must wear it, it your pass for the grounds), pick up your CDP "dress blues" and accessories (pins, especially), and check-in for laundry service. When you sign the arrival form, ask where your team has been assigned for a bunkhouse.

At this point in the discussion, let me remind you... You must bring your own gear. You should have your own pants, shoes (especially plate shoes), belt(s), mask(s), CP, shin guards, personal protector, ball bags, etc. You should bring your own hat(s), too. Make sure to bring a black ballcap / hat. If you have a navy ballcap, bring that too – the CDP -issued ones suck. If you have your own shirts, bring as many as you'd like, but especially bring black. Umpires only must wear CDP Blues on Saturday, Wednesday and Thursday. You will be issued a CDP Blue pullover jacket, too. Most guys favor this when it rains because if you ruin a jacket in the rain, no biggie. However, there are guys who will still want to conduct a game in black if it's cold or there's a drizzle, so if you have a black jacket, bring that just in case.

Now, back to meeting up with your team... Inquire as to which bunkhouse they have been assigned, and then go and see if any of their coaches have arrived. The entire complex will likely be a zoo, with cars slowly pulling in to drop off over-sugar-fed ballplayers and stressed-out parents trying to deliver all their accompanying gear and materials. There will be kids of all ages running around already embarking on pin exchanging. The best advice is, don't start exchanging pins yet, at least not until you've delivered pins to your team. Meet up with your team (coach especially); they'll likely introduce you to the ballplayers, or will arrange to have you meet the entire team later that night or first thing Saturday morning. If your team isn't there yet, no worries – you should make sure to meet with them, though, before 11am Saturday morning. When you meet your team, you can ingratiate yourself to the ballplayers pretty quick by giving each ballplayer one of the Umpire pins you've been issued.

There are some "park rules" you need to convey to your team that aren't always understood, but best explained in the setting of meeting your team (and coaches):

  1. Under no circumstance, none whatsoever, is a ballplayer to enter an Umpire shack. The ballplayer(s) will be suspended and the umpire(s) will be sent home. Any talking of baseball or pin exchanging is to be done outside on the tables or the Common Green or the White Tent.
  2. Out of the bunkhouse, footwear is to be worn at all times. Umpires are asked to remind ballplayers if they see them without footwear, as CDP Staff have the authority to suspend ballplayers for being barefoot outside the bunkhouses.
  3. Ballplayers must be in full uniform – hat, jersey, pants (worn to or at the knee only), and socks – going to and coming back from formal team events and games. Gate Staff will not let team members depart through the gate to their ballpark out of uniform, nor will they allow re-entry into the housing complex out of uniform.

Be affable and friendly with the kids – you were one once, and you have a common, shared love of baseball. Keep in mind that you cannot work one of your team's games – if you happen to have your team scheduled on your field for when you are working, notify your Crew Chief or the Baseball Ops Zone Coordinator, and your crew will exchange fields with another crew for that game, easy as punch. If you are able to attend your team's games "off the clock", do so. The ballplayers and parents really get encouraged to see you even make an appearance. Go in plainclothes (if you're able) and certainly interact with the parents and fans. We only advise you to refrain from making comments about the working crew's performance, because do remember, those guys are your colleagues, and you might be in the same bunkhouse with them or end up sitting across from each other at meal time.

Learn what you can, assimilate what you think is positive, disregard what you think is negative (or is blatant bull$hit), and just enjoy the baseball experience.

Civilly and considerately, make sure the team's coach or rep has fulfilled your sponsorship arrangement. Only hold them to that, and if they invite you out to other team functions or get-togethers, consider it gravy and accept it with gusto!

Have a great time.

Oh, don't forget your personal protector.

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bluejersey    11

Thank you so much @MadMax, this is some great info!

I'm currently packing and feel like I'm embarking on months long vacation! My gear and uniforms take up two bags on their own!

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Aging_Arbiter    613
13 hours ago, bluejersey said:

 

I'm currently packing and feel like I'm embarking on months long vacation! My gear and uniforms take up two bags on their own!

Sounds like you're almost ready then!

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bluejersey    11

I got back home yesterday and the experience exceeded my expectations! Every umpire should jump at any opportunity to attend a week at this facility. The guys I met were great people and I had so much fun interacting with the kids through pin trading. My bunkmates in 41A along with the other guys I formed friendships with made the week fly by!

The only negative part of the experience for me was that I was slightly unprepared for the cold weather. Mornings and nights were extremely uncomfortable!!! However, I now know exactly what to bring next summer...

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