Barnes called to umpire World Series
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 20, 2008 2:02 PM
Quintin Barnes checked his mail and gazed at the white envelope.
A blue "NCAA" symbol dotted one corner.
"What is this?" said Barnes to himself.
He opened the envelope, unfolded the letter and starting reading it.
"You have been selected by the NCAA committee to work the Division II College World Series ... "
He grabbed the telephone and called fellow baseball umpire Jerry Johnson. He read the letter again, stunned by the message the black- and white-typed words presented to him.
"What are the dates?" quizzed Johnson.
"May 24-31," said Barnes.
"That's the World Series," said Johnson.
The two exchanged a few more words and Barnes hung up the phone.
It was true.
A veteran umpire on many levels, Barnes had received the perfect anniversary gift to mark his 30th year behind the plate.
"At first, I thought it was the regionals until I looked at the date," said Barnes. "I looked at it again and just couldn't believe it."
The 2008 Division II CWS, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament, begins Saturday in Sauget, Ill.
Barnes began his officiating career in Lenoir County in 1978. During the past three decades, he's called 17 conference championships in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and seven state title games on the high school scene.
"I don't know how it feels to win the lottery, but I'll know how it feels to call a World Series," said Barnes. "That's a privilege and honor to me. I am looking forward to it."
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