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River Cats to Present Annual Emmett Ashford Award

05/02/2008 2:11 PM

River Cats to Present Annual Emmett Ashford Award
Team to honor 1st African American PCL, MLB umpire, local amateur umpire at pre-game ceremony on May 5

West Sacramento, Calif. – The Sacramento River Cats will present the second annual Emmett Ashford Award in a pregame ceremony on Monday, May 5. The award was created in 2007 to honor a local amateur umpire for sportsmanship and community involvement. Ashford, the award’s namesake, was the first African American umpire in both the Pacific Coast League and Major League Baseball. A pre-game assembly to educate nearly 4,000 elementary and middle school students about Emmett Ashford’s life and accomplishments will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 5 at Raley Field.

The 2008 winner of the Emmett Ashford Award is Loren Jochim from Sacramento. Loren has been an umpire in the Sacramento area since 1989 and is currently Chief Umpire for District 5 Little League. He has umpired at the high school level for 15 years and, for the past five years, has been head of the regional Umpire Rating Committee. He has been honored by being chosen to umpire the State of California All-Star Game and, in 2004, the Senior League World Series in Bangor, ME. Jochim will throw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to Monday’s game.

“We are proud to present the 2008 Emmett Ashford Award to Loren Jochim,” said Bob Hemond, River Cats Executive Vice-President. “Mr. Jochim carries on the tradition of Emmett Ashford by not only showing passion and dedication for the game of baseball, but through his commitment to his family and community as well – all traits that were extremely important to Emmett Ashford.”

Emmett Ashford was born in 1914 in Los Angeles, California. In 1951, he became the first African American umpire in organized professional baseball when he umpired in the Southwest International League. In 1954, he joined the Pacific Coast League as an umpire, the first ever African American to do so, and rose to the rank of Umpire-in-Chief one year later. After 12 years of umpiring in the Pacific Coast League he was signed to a contract by the American League. On April 1, 1966, he became the first African American umpire in the history of Major League Baseball. Ashford passed away due to a heart attack in March, 1980 at the age of 65.


Way to go Loren!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Way to go Loren!!!!!
Anyone from NCOA/RCOA going to the game? call me!
~Matt Switzer


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