In the eight downloadable photos in the accompanying 10th-anniversary gallery above, Colorado Author Phil Ross and old high school buddy John Schumacher of Bakersfield, Calif., hook up after many years, at a Texas Rangers-Colorado Rockies interleague
game at Denver's Coors Field in summer 2006, then spend time on Daniels Park Road, south of Denver, taking in panoramic vistas, watching a local buffalo herd, and re-living images of Ross's two-decade career as a college and prep baseball umpire.
is garbed in the cap of his favorite college football team, the Texas A&M Aggies, and a T-shirt, part of his collegiate collection, from Louisiana's Northwestern State University in the old historic town of Natchitoches.
The pictorial and balloon
captions are from a 2007 calendar produced by Schumacher and his wife, Joan Knowlden Schumacher. In the one on-field game photo, it is during the between-half-innings break in the eighth inning. Colorado's California-bred southpaw reliever Brian Fuentes tosses
warm-up pitches to catcher Yorvit Torrealba, a native of Venezuela; plate umpire Joe Brinkman, a Floridian, checks his ball-strike counter, and second-base umpire Derryl Cousins, also from California, awaits the resumption of action in the distant left background.
The inset at bottom left of the warm-up photo is Dinger, the Rockies' dinosaur mascot.
Both Brinkman and Cousins have since retired, the latter having passed away in early 2021. Mentors over the years of promising Latino umpires from the U.S. and several
other Western Hemisphere countries, each is the subject of anecdotes in BLUE HOMBRES: The Life and Times of Major League Baseball's Latino Umpires, First of a Trilogy, which is available at amazon.com, bn.com and goodreads.com, among other outlets. (Photos
by Joan Knowlden Schumacher)