Friday, May 16, 2014

Major League Umpiring Debut: Jon Byrne (59)

Umpire Jon Byrne made his MLB debut during the Mets-Nationals game in Washington on May 16. Byrne joined chief Dana DeMuth's crew, serving as Friday evening's second base umpire alongside 3B Umpire Lance Barrett, 1B Umpire Ed Hickox and home plate umpire DeMuth.

Umpire Jon Byrne, 1st MLB Aussie Ump.
Byrne is on the International League umpire roster for the 2014 season, which is his 4th season in the IL and AAA. After graduating from the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring (JEAPU) in 2004, he began his Minor League career in the 2005 Gulf Coast League, after which he worked the Northwest, Midwest, California, Eastern and Arizona Instructional Leagues before his promotion to Triple-A.

Byrne was born in Perth, Australia and becomes the first Australian native umpire to officiate in the Major Leagues. In Australia, Byrne got his start with the WA Baseball Umpires Association in 1998 after which he attended umpire's school in Adelaide; he worked the 2007-2010 Claxton Shield and 2011-2012 Australian Baseball League (ABL).

He resides in Charlotte, North Carolina and wears the sleeve uniform number 59 at the Major League level. The 5-foot-10, 143-pound May, who makes his MLB debut at the age of 30, will turn 31 in June and has an identical twin brother Kyle, who also officiated in Minor League Baseball.


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