Saturday, November 3, 2018

Ed Hickox's Offseason Charity & Angel Flight

MLB umpire Ed Hickox began his offseason in a familiar scene, aboard his Grumman Traveler fixed-wing aircraft. Captain Hickox, who holds a pilot's license, has been flying charity missions for Angel Flight since 2009 and flew to Panama City to help Hurricane Michael survivors in the Florida panhandle.

The part-time seasonal (or, rather "off-seasonal") detective for the Daytona Beach Shores Police Department sure keeps busy after baseball season ends. Explained Hickox to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, "I can't stay still, I guess. I get satisfaction out of being a public servant, helping people in need."

Hickox continued by explaining that the unique schedule of a major league umpire allows him to give back to the community during the winter months, which is why he started flying Angel Flight missions a decade ago:
"In the offseason, when I have the time and the opportunity, I take a mission. I try to do at least one every offseason. Very seldom is it for relief work. Mainly it’s to help people who are sick and can’t afford to go long-distance for treatment plans. If you love flying, what better way to fly than to help someone in need? It’s a nice thing to be able to do, and I’m just fortunate to be able to do it."
Hickox unloads supplies to relief volunteers.
Photos provided to Daytona Beach NJ.
This time around, Hickox flew a 500-pound load of supplies including food and water, diapers, and medicine to Panama City, where he and several other airplanes unloaded their cargo to waiting Hurricane Michael relief personnel. In 2010, for instance, Hickox flew to Haiti after an earthquake devastated that island.

Hickox graduated from the Harry Wendelstedt school and worked his first American League game in 1990. The Florida native was one of 22 umpires to lose his job in 1999, and one of three (the others being Bob Davidson and Tom Hallion) to work his way back through the minor leagues, regaining MLB status in 2005.
Related PostWUA Rebrands as MLB Umpires Launch MLBUA (8/13/18).
Related PostPlate Meeting Podcast Episode 1 - Bob Davidson (7/17/18).

Hickox is likely better known for his character and, coincidentally enough, his law enforcement job, rather than his on-field disciplinary enforcement. Hickox had one ejection in 2018 after a four-year drought (2014).
Related PostMLB Ejection 111 - Ed Hickox (1; Ryan Tepera) (8/7/18).


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