MCPSS and South Alabama Baseball Umpire Association reach contract agreement. Umpires hopeful for raise from AHSAA

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 7:57 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -After weeks of discussion an agreement is finally in place between the Mobile County Public School System and the South Alabama Baseball Umpire Association.

“We’re all happy about it. That just gets things back to normal for us,” said Tony Combs.

South Alabama Baseball Umpire Association President Tony Combs says this all started last fall when the baseball committee met with the AHSAA and recommended a raise for all umpires across the state.

“They came up with a proposal of a $90 game fee which is a $10 raise and $15 travel per umpire,” said Combs.

After the raise wasn’t approved Combs said that led to a hold out to start the season. Combs says umpire associations from across the state had been talking about the need for a raise since last fall.

“We were hoping and praying to get a raise this year for one reason and one reason only,” said Combs. “To retain umpires that we’ve always had and recruit new ones.”

The Mobile County Public School System says one tournament game was canceled and a couple of other games were rescheduled due to not having enough umpires. School board member Johnny Hatcher says it could have been more had the association not agreed to work without a contract over the last couple of weeks.

“This organization went out of their way to help these children and I’m proud of that,” said Johnny Hatcher.

Combs says a couple of weeks ago the association agreed to go back to the contract they sign every year which pays $80 an umpire for high school games and $65 for JV, freshman and middle school games.

“We didn’t want to see any more games get canceled,” said Combs. “We had a few. We just want to get back to playing baseball now.”

While it is a step in the right direction. Hatcher says he wishes it could be more.

“The AHSAA are the ones that didn’t want to pay the money not us,” said Hatcher. “We believe in our umpires, we wanted to pay them more money. We’d like to but we can’t because if we do, we’re sanctioned by that organization.”

The AHSAA has set guidelines for how much officials can be paid in each sport. Combs is hoping things will get better in April.

“You never say guaranteed when you’re dealing with the AHSAA, but we’ve been very well promised you’d say that all officials throughout the whole state not just baseball but all sports across the state will get a raise next year,” added Combs.


Download the FOX10 Weather App. Get life-saving severe weather warnings and alerts for your location no matter where you are. Available free in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.