By Kevin Cuddihy | March 30, 2011
FORT MYERS, FL -- Major League Baseball umpire Tim Timmons led nineteen other duffers—both umpires and not—out on the links at beautiful Raptor Bay Golf Club in Fort Myers, Florida, for the Second Annual UMPS CARE Charities Spring Swing Golf Tournament, raising close to $3,000 for the charity’s work with children. Each invited golfer paid an entry fee, with prizes such as a set of irons, a putter, and trophies up for grabs—not to mention bragging rights.
“The winning score was 10 under, and since we’re all sticklers for the rules, the guys at 9 under were sure they’d lost,” Timmons joked. The winning foursome was led by Sam Holbrook and a late addition, Triple-A ump David Rackley. “We were struggling to find that last player for the tournament,” explained Timmons, “and Holbrook suggested I call Rackley. He then offered, ‘Hey, since he’s a late addition, we’ll just take him on our team.’ Well, it turns out Rackley hits it 320 yards down the fairway each time. Nice of him to volunteer.”
UMPS CARE Charities is the official charity of Major League Baseball umpires, and Timmons is thrilled to be a part of it. “Over the last five years, myself and all of the guys have become more and more actively involved in UMPS CARE,” he said. “I have the greatest job in the world, and I also have the greatest time in the world bringing the kids in foster care out onto the field to watch PB and watching their eyes light up. For that day, a kid in a bad situation gets a chance to be not just ordinary but extraordinary.”
The Spring Swing started last year when Ed Weber, general manager of Raptor Bay and a friend of the charity, asked Timmons if there was anything he could do to contribute. Timmons asked about getting some tee times, and the Spring Swing was, well, in full swing. Last year the tournament started with 16 players and grew to 20 this year; Timmons has plans for even more participation in the future, hoping to schedule it so more umpires can participate while in Florida for Spring Training. “The course is a beautiful one,” enthused Timmons, “so that will really help get more people out there.” Timmons also offered thanks to Blu Sushi, who filled out an entire foursome for the tournament.
“UMPS CARE Charities has really grown,” closed Timmons, “and I think it’s because people respond to what we do with the children. It has a real impact.” Helping kids is indeed an easy call.
Major League Baseball umpire Tim Timmons shows heart by organizing the Spring Swing Golf Tournament.