The All Around Umpire

Posted at 10:42 PM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 01:55:13-04

Umpiring it's not for the feint of heart.  It's a job that can be fun but you can get an ear full from a coach for missing a call from time to time.

After my college baseball career was over I have even umpired a fair share of games.  For one Boise man, it not only has changed his health but also his perspective on life.

"You don't plan ahead in your life you take a chapter at a time," said Umpire, Ron Friedli.

Ron Friedli who was raised in Seattle Washington and Boise played multiple sports and instruments at a young age.  When he was 13 years old his parents sent him to a boarding school in Canada.  In Canada is where his true athleticism was put to the test as he was a member of the Brentwood college school rowing team.

"We won the Canadian high school championships in 1972 we rowed in the Henley Royal Regatta and finished runner-up in the world.  Then in 1976 my teammate went on and rowed for Canada in the Olympics in Montreal," said, Friedli. 

By the time he was 18 he had a scuba certificate, pilot's license and was an international rower, but his drive for sports wasn't finished as the next stage in his life was behind a steering wheel.

"I raced at Seattle International raceways and in Portland International, California Sears Point, Westwood Canada.  From there then I worked on the crew on some teams in Daytona and Sebring," said, Friedli.

Along the way, Friedli has even had to battle a reading disorder which has given him challenges as an umpire.

"I was dyslexic but undiagnosed when I was growing up.  The challenge for me is the rule book, baseball, and softball the basics can be explained in two pages and ninety-five percent of what happens is in two pages but the five percent is on the other 99 pages and you gotta be prepared," said, Friedli.

Thru it all Friedli is glad he has become an umpire, he has called over 200 games in just 11 months and has lost 25 pounds along the way.

"We move all the time in an ideal game we are invisible but we are actually moving more than the players.  We have to be in a position to make the call," said, Friedli.

Eventually, Ron hopes to umpire college softball.  He also said that the success he has had on the field is due to veterans that have given him help along the way.