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Journeys with the No Schedule Man

Dec 20, 2016

Jim Cressman is a professional baseball umpire and retired sportswriter. He still umpires and has been doing so for over 50 years. I know Jim best as a sportswriter. For decades, Jim covered sports for the London Free Press, the daily paper in the city where we live. He was responsible for all kinds of topics, including the old London Tigers baseball team we had here for a time (an Eastern League AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers), the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, all kinds of major league sporting events, and even auto racing coverage out at the stock car track near here called Delaware Speedway, where I worked in various capacities for about a decade and where I got to know Jim best. Listening to Jim talk about how they used to get stories written and submitted is a whole lot of fun. If you have any interest at all in news media, journalism or reporting, you’ll love it. Umpiring, on the other hand, took Jim to the Olympics and other international events, as well as through baseball’s minor leagues. Had work visas been more readily available, Jim may never have been a sportswriter to begin with, as it’s likely he would have ended up as an umpire in the major leagues. We discuss that, too. Some of the key steps in the journey that I took away from my time with Jim included: 1. Perspective. Whether it’s with writing or umpiring or anything else, we’re all looking at life through a different lense. That fact alone can explain a lot of “taken out of context” complaints. 2. What you love most seems to stay with you. In Jim’s case, it’s umpiring, and an appreciation for sharing new experiences with other people. 3. The art of actually being there & the value of human connection. These two things put together answered some questions I’d had about Jim for years, like how come he’s not written a book or started a blog? The answers emerge in this discussion. ©2016 Kevin Bulmer Enterprises