Longtime umpire Dick Runchey has received the inaugural National Collegiate Umpire Award presented by the College Baseball Foundation and College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas. The award honors lifetime excellence in umpiring, and was presented to Runchey on July 3 as part of the College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Runchey is an excellent choice as the first recipient of this award. His resume includes five College World Series and 19 NCAA regional tournaments. He worked the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, and the 1987 Pan American games. Runchey currently works as a regional adviser for the NCAA National Umpire Program.
Many of us know Dick Runchey through his continuing contributions to the umpire community. He is the Executive Director of the Amateur Baseball Umpire Association, he has served as the Director of Umpires for the International Baseball Federation from 2003-2009, and each year he participates in many amateur umpire clinics around the country. Dick's generous and selfless efforts have helped umpires from around the world improve their skills and further their umpiring careers. Despite his international respect and prominence, Dick Runchey remains a humble guy:
"When I got the call from Mike Gustafson Executive Director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, I got the chills just like when I got the calls from the NCAA Umpire Directors saying I was selected to work the College World Series. This is my 43rd year being involved in Baseball umpiring, and to be selected by my peers and college baseball personnel as the first recipient of the National Collegiate Umpire Award is truly a humbling experience. I accept this award on behalf of all college baseball umpires as we as a fraternity provide to college baseball a dedicated and passionate group of people who love what they do for the great game of college baseball. I look forward to assisting in selection of future umpires for this award and I thank the College Baseball Foundation for creating such an honor. It was my best three days in baseball at the College Baseball Hall of Fame event."
Congratulations to Dick Runchey and his family for this well-deserved honor. A video of the 2011 College Baseball Hall of Fame Night of Champions awards ceremony can be seen on MLB.com using the link below: