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Two local umpires look ahead to summer assignments, grind for future success

Think about the astronomical odds of becoming a professional baseball player and reaching the major leagues. Then think about the fact that there are 10 times as many MLB players as MLB umpires.

Throw in the fact that top officials keep their positions barring injury, retirement or death, and you'll get a sense of the challenges facing local prospects seeking to one day don the black MLB umpire uniform. They travel on the road day after day in the minors in poor conditions for minimal pay, just like the players they officiate, with both angling for "The Show."

Reporter Henry Greenstein can be reached at 661-395-7374. Follow him on Twitter: @HenryGreenstein.