Thursday, March 1, 2018

Perry Barber Wins SABR Lifetime Achievement Award

Veteran professional umpire Perry Lee Barber won the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)'s inaugural Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to candidates with sustained involvement in women's baseball or any woman associated with baseball.

Barber began officiating baseball in 1981, encountering a coach in just her second game as an umpire who took his Little League team off a baseball diamond in Palm Springs in protest of Barber's presence, as a woman, on the playing field.

Perry Barber has umpired for over 36 years.
Said Barber, "My mother loved baseball and encouraged me to start reading about it. I didn't even like baseball until I was 27 years old."

Barber credits historian Larry Gerlach's 1980 book, The Men in Blue: Conversations with Umpires, as steering her toward the umpiring craft, which has drawn assignments in high school, college, amateur, and international baseball, as well as assignor and supervisor responsibilities in the independent Atlantic League. She also has officiated several Spring Training exhibition contests and campaigned for women's inclusion in professional baseball.

The complete list of women to have umpired in the Major/Minor League baseball system includes:
Bernice Gera (1972);
Christine Wren (1975-77);
Pam Postema (1977-89);
Theresa Cox Fairlady (1989-91);
Ria Cortesio (1999-2007);
Shanna Kook (2003-04);
Jen Pawol (2016-);
Emma Charlesworth-Seiler (2017-).

Kate Sargeant additionally made the PBUC evaluation course in 2008, finishing 43rd.

Barber attended Harry Wendelstedt's umpire school in 1982 ('83, '84, '85 & 2005) along with her late twin sister, Warren, "so that we could always work together and guarantee that I wasn't the only woman," and assigned several major league fantasy camps, most prominently, the Mets'.

She is a board member for the International Women's Baseball Center, an advisor at Baseball for All, and continues to assign and officiate several baseball leagues and tournaments.

The award is named for Dorothy Seymour Mills, who collaborated with Dr. Harold Seymour to author various baseball research publications. SABR's existing Seymour Medal is an annual award honoring the best book of baseball history or biography published over the course of the preceding year.

News: Perry Barber wins inaugural Dorothy Seymour Mills Award | Video via "Read More"
Alternate Link: Perry Barber discusses her career and women in baseball (MLBN)


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