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Western grad Fairchild debuted in national spotlight

By DON HOHLER • Apr 3, 2019 at 2:06 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Chad Fairchild again finds himself in the spotlight.

After umpiring last year's World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, Fairchild's season debut tonight to start his 2019 Major League Baseball season is also in the national spotlight.

The 1989 Western Reserve graduate will be in the nation's capital tonight as the Philadelphia Phillies visit the Washington Nationals in superstar Bryce Harper's return after he left the Nationals via free agency last month.

Fairchild has been on scheduled time off after the spring training schedule.

“It is probably my busiest time of the year,” he said. “All my personal scheduling had to be done this week prior to my first game in Washington tonight. After a busy next couple days, things quiet down and umpires then fall into their schedule.”

Fairchild will work with the same crew as last year alongside Paul Emmel, Mike Easterbrook and crew chief Bruce Dreckman.

After being shut out from Cleveland last year during the regular season, Fairchild will be able to enjoy his mother Pam's cooking twice this season. He has a four-game series at Progressive Field between the Orioles and Indians from May 16-19, and again for a series against the Kansas City Royals on July 19-21.

He worked up the left field line during last year's American League Division Series between the Houston Astros and the Tribe. But only the one game, Game 3, was played in Cleveland as the Astros swept the series.

“I've got two series in Cleveland this summer, and I really look forward to that,” the 49-year-old Wakeman native said.

Fairchild, who worked as a major league replacement umpire from 2004-09 while working a minor league Triple AAA schedule, was officially assigned to an MLB crew in 2010. He started his 19th season Tuesday night.

Over his major league career, he has worked seven postseason schedules, including last year when his crew worked the historic 18-inning Game 3 World Series game in Los Angeles. He also worked the plate last year in a nationally-televised postseason game from Yankee Stadium.

Married with a son, Tanner, Fairchild uses as much time off as possible in following his sophomore scholar/athlete (baseball and football) at Sarasota’s Open Door Academy. His strongest sport, however, is baseball. He splits time between the infield and pitching.

Ten days before his series in Cleveland with Kansas City, Progressive Field will host the MLB All-Star Game. It's a record sixth time the same city has hosted the Mid-Summer Classic.

“It’s a long shot, mainly because I worked the All-Star game last year," said Fairchild of the chances of an All-Star assignment again in July. "It would be very special to work the game in my home state, something very few umpires have the chance to do.”

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