Mehrkens earned the nomination to umpire either the Junior League, Senior League, or Big League World Series – which is a Little League affiliation – based on his evaluation at this summer’s Little League Senior Division Southeast Regional.
“I went to Viera, Fla. July 2-8 to umpire the Senior League Southeast Regional,” Mehrkens said. “You have to be nominated to go to regionals, which I was. While at regionals you get evaluated and some umpires get nominations based on their evaluations.”
Mehrkens umpired the Southeast Regional with seven other umpires. Five were from Florida, one from Virginia, one from West Virginia, and Mehrkens represented Georgia.
“Three of us got World Series nominations,” Mehrkens said.
Now Mehrkens must wait.
He said that after receiving a World Series nomination, it may take anywhere from one year to five years to actually get to go.
At regionals, Mehrkens umpired in a four-man crew, which is different from his normal duties of umpiring in two-men crews.
“The first two days were a bit of a challenge,” Mehrkens said.
He noted that his favorite game was the championship game.
“In the championship game, I had first base and I had eight bang, bang calls and I got every one of them right,” Mehrkens said. “That was a fun game.”
Mehrkens said his entire experience in Florida was one to remember.
“They treat you very well,” Mehrkens said. “You see a lot of good teams and good sportsmanship at that level, too.”
Mehrkens, who has been umpiring for eight years, also umpires college baseball and high school baseball and is on the training and developmental staff for the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).
Mehrkens also evaluates other umpires for the GHSA. He is also a member of the National Association of Sports Officials.
Mehrkens had several people he wanted to thank for helping him work his way up the ranks.
“Lee Hayes with Little League is a great mentor of mine,” Mehrkens said. “At the high school level, Tony Rust and Lyndon Huckabee have been really helpful to me. Craig Mirr with the Southern College umpires is also a mentor of mine. Those four have helped me a lot.”
Mehrkens also encourages anyone interested in umpiring to give it a try.
“I was watching a game on television one day and I said to my wife I could do better than they were doing and she said why don’t you,” Mehrkens said. “So I went to a camp and caught the bug and have been hooked since then.
“I encourage anyone who wants to stay in baseball and help kids to give umpiring a try.”
Anyone interested in getting into umpiring can call Mehrkens at 770-546-5166.