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College Baseball Foundation Creates New Award To Honor Umpires

The College Baseball Foundation announced today the creation of its newest award – the National Collegiate Umpire Award – honoring lifetime excellence in umpiring. The award, sponsored by Honig’s Whistle Stop, a provider of umpire gear, will be presented as part of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on July 3.

The inaugural recipient of the award is Dick Runchey, who has umpired five College World Series and a total of 48 CWS games – 14 behind the plate. He also worked the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, the Pan American games and 19 NCAA regional tournaments. He currently works as a regional adviser for the NCAA National Umpire Program.

“(When I was notified) I got the chills, like all the times I got the calls when I was selected to go work the CWS in Omaha,” Runchey said. “I always thought that was the pinnacle of college baseball, especially for umpires, but being named as the first recipient of the Umpire Award is truly a special honor for which I am deeply grateful and humbled.”

Runchey’s selection was the result of a nomination and screening process by past and current NCAA na­tional coordinators of umpires, NCAA regional advisers and NCAA DI umpire conference coordinators.

“For many years we have wanted to honor individuals directly involved in the game of college baseball who fall outside the realm of coaches and players,” said Mike Gustafson, CBF executive director. “Um­pires are a key part of the game and Dick Runchey is a fantastic choice to receive the inaugural award.”

The College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be on July 3 in Lubbock, Texas, in conjunc­tion with the College Baseball Awards Show.

For more information, please contact Andrea Watson, (806) 239-0522 or

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