According to Matt Kelly of MLB.com, MLB will promote to the position of Crew Chief, the first African-American and first Mexican-American umpires.
The promotions came after the announcement that veterans Gary Cederstrom, Dana DeMuth, Mike Everitt and Jeff Kellogg would be stepping away from their full-time positions. Those veterans will be replaced by Kerwin Danley, Dan Iassogna, Alfonso Marquez and Jim Reynolds.
Kerwin Danley will be the first African-American Crew Chief, while Alfonso Marquez will be the first Mexican-American Crew Chief - milestones that are certainly great for baseball.
Anyone that watches even a modicum of baseball knows the names of Cederstrom, DeMuth, Everitt and Kellogg. According to Baseball Reference, Gary Cederstrom is a 31-year veteran having umpired over 3,500 games including four World Series. Dana DeMuth had an even more amazing career, umpiring for 37 years, including 4,283 regular season games and five World Series.
Jeff Kellogg, a 29-year veteran, umpired two All-Star Games and five World Series. Kellogg has the distinction of tackling a shirtless man who ran onto the field and slid into home plate at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 27th, 2012. Among other accolades, Mike Everitt, a 24-year veteran, worked the World Series three times and was a part of a number of controversies during his career.
Kerwin Danley, Dan Iassogna, Alfonso Marquez and Jim Reynolds have been around for some time as well. Iassogna has been an umpire for MLB since 1999 and has worked one All-Star Game and one World Series. Jim Reynolds also began his big league umpiring career in 1999 and has worked two All-Star games and two World Series.
Kerwin Danley, who will be the first African-American Crew Chief for MLB, began working MLB games as a substitute in 1992 while playing baseball in the minor leagues. In 1998, Danley was promoted to full-time umpire and has worked one All-Star game and one World Series. Alfonso Marquez, who will be the first Mexican-American Crew Chief, began his big league career in 1999 and has worked two All-Star games and three World Series.
Whether it is a position in a front office, as a coach, a player, or as an umpire, it is wonderful when Major League Baseball recognizes the talent and dedication of minorities in the sport. Congratulations to all those promoted, and a well-deserved retirement for Gary Cederstrom, Dana DeMuth, Mike Everitt and Jeff Kellogg.