Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School
The Wendelstedt Umpire School umpires for professional baseball is the only independently run professional umpire training program recognized by the minor leagues and major leagues. It is located in Ormond Beach, Florida. It runs for five weeks each early January through early February. The school is open to both males and females; the only female ever to work a Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training game, Pam Postema, graduated from the school, as have a number of other female professional umpires. The school was previously known as the Bill McGowan School for Umpires and the Al Somers Umpire School.
Umpire Bill McGowan founded the program as the Bill McGowan School for Umpires in 1938. The school was run by former umpire Al Somers after McGowan's death in the 1950s. Harry Wendelstedt was the chief instructor for the Somers school, acquiring the school in 1977, where it has stayed in family ownership, with son Hunter Wendelstedt in control since 2012.
The Wendelstedt Umpire School has produced more MLB umpires than all other schools in history combined. It has fourteen full-time MLB umpires and a number of minor league umpires on its staff. The current MLB umpires that have been instructors at the school include: Lance Barksdale, Gerry Davis, Dana DeMuth, Doug Eddings, Bruce Froemming, Greg Gibson, Brian Gorman, Ed Hickox, John Hirschbeck, Sam Holbrook, Ron Kulpa, Jerry Layne, Randy Marsh, Chuck Meriwether, Paul Nauert, Charlie Reliford, Larry Vanover, Tim Welke, and Hunter Wendelstedt.