Exclusive: Negro League Tribute At Rickwood Field Features First All-Black Umpire Crew

Exclusive: Negro League Tribute At Rickwood Field Features First All-Black Umpire Crew

When the St. Louis Cardinals meet the San Francisco Giants on June 20th at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama it will be the first time ever that we have a crew made up entirely of Black umpires.

The mood will be solemn as the great Willie Mays, who played at Rickwood Field as a 19-year-old Negro League player on the Birmingham  Black Barons and was expected to be present for the event, passed away on June 18th.


Mays would have been proud to see an all-melanated umpire crew. It’s amazing that in 2024, this is the first time we are seeing such representation between the lines.

“We approached the umpires in January and they were all enthusiastic about participating,” an MLB official who works with the umpiring department told MLBbro.com on Tuesday. 

First All-Black Umpire Crew At Rickwood Field 

  • Crew Chief Adrian Johnson
  • Alan Porter
  • CB Bucknor
  • Jeremie Rehak
  • Malachi Moore

One of the five above will be the Replay Official on-site.

They also will be wearing a patch in memory of Emmett Ashford, the first African American umpire in the AL or NL.



MLBbro Umpire Malachi Moore Is Holding Free Camps In Compton To Teach Kids How To Execute The Craft

MLBbro Umpire Malachi Moore Is Holding Free Camps In Compton To Teach Kids How To Execute The Craft

By Seneca Sumners
Special to MLBbro.com 

WE WANT MOORE! This is what the kids say about the Compton Youth Academy umpire camp.

Malachi Moore, an alum of the CYA, is a Black MLB umpire doing his first full-time season this year. Moore will be holding a youth umpire camp in Compton, California on December 9- 10, 2023.

Malachi Moore Holds Umpire Camp For Kids

The best part about the camp is that it is free. Malachi Moore is a 32 year old who is the 10th professional black umpire in MLB history who grew up in Compton and wants to give kids an opportunity.

The umpire camp is for youth at least 12 years old, but they try to accept all ages and have had participants as young as 9 years old.

No experience is required to attend the camp. Moore believes that no one should be left out and everyone should be given an opportunity. If you don’t think the camp is for you because you don’t have equipment that won’t be an issue. There is a donation spot where you can turn in old things, or not, meaning you could walk in with nothing and walk out with brand new equipment!

The camp has come a long way since it first started, mostly figuring out what works by trial and error and with feedback from campers.

The program has evolved from four and a half hours, to 7 hours last year, and now a two–day camp. If you attend, you learn the basics like safety, the positioning of where to stand, along with getting a chance for a lot of on field work and a bunch of live reps from every position. The camp is staffed by Moore and other pro umpires from MiLB and MLB.


Black Umpire Malachi Moore Grew Up In Compton 


Compton is the area chosen by Moore for the camp because it  holds a special spot in his heart.

It is where he grew up and played both high school and college baseball. It is also where at a pretty young age he  dealt with the tremendous loss of his grandparents and his older brother Nehemiah, who was randomly shot and killed.

Even with all of this, Moore continued to grind and put in hard work, especially at the CYA .

If you want to attend one of Moore’s camps but don’t live in the Compton area, sit tight because you may have a chance in the near future.

Moore says “I will eventually take my camp on the road, possibly starting next year”.

For now, Moore is involved with other umpire camps if you can’t get to Compton, including a free one-day camp on December 16th in Stockton, California.

He will also be going to Puerto Rico with Roberto Ortiz who is another MLB umpire to hold a camp in his hometown.

One main reason Moore wants to have more camps is his desire  to spread the game of baseball.

He believes “we all have an obligation to grow the game of baseball”.

Everyone knows it’s hard to become a professional baseball player but it’s hard out here for an up and coming ump too.

In addition to being one of the youngest umpires this season, Moore knows how special it is to be one of only five Black full-time MLB umpires.

He wears number 44 in honor of the first Black crew chief, Kerwin Danley, who just recently retired.

So his hope is that more Black kids can try out umpiring to build on that legacy but also just wants to help baseball  grow as much as he can, in all aspects of the game.

Maybe you are shy to sign up or still don’t think this is for you. Just remember neither did Malachi Moore.


He started when he was 20 and had no interest at all but a CYA instructor showed him something new. So you never know what will end up choosing you!