At last night’s Live Draft the spotlight was firmly on the players, but when the Series begin this Sunday a key role will be played by one person – the Umpire.  In any sport, the officials usually remain unnoticed, but the umpire’s influence on the game is undoubted.  A good umpire can turn an average game into a crisp, pure and enjoyable game of baseball.  Consistency is key when it comes to baseball umpiring and only a good official can achieve it and set a game environment which pitchers, batters, runners and fielders can excel in.


The upcoming Kyle Hunlock Series is very fortunate to have one of the best umpires in Great Britain – Geoff Hare. 


Geoff is a true legend of Herts Baseball Club. He wore the Falcons number 10 jersey for over a decade, and before that played with the Hemel Red Sox.  Everybody connected with Herts Baseball Club knows Geoff.  He has become one of the most respected members of the club.  A magnificent short stop and a leadoff batter, a player who can hit for power and for average, Geoff has always been the first name in any Herts manager’s line-up. 


Three years ago, at the age of 52, Geoff decided to hang up his glove (way too early in the author’s opinion) and joined the British Umpires’ Association.   Like everything else which he does, Geoff would not accept anything less than 100% effort and dedication and this is exactly how Geoff took on the new challenge of being an umpire.  Over the years he has become one of the very best umpires in this country, umpiring the top games in the British National League and the GB National team, recognized and respected by every player who has ever been on the same field as him.


Yes, the players of the three teams in the Series will have the opportunity to work alongside a real pro, who manages to stay unbiased no matter what…having said this players would still be advised not to start analysing the secret to a well toasted bread or how amazing the band Queen is.

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