‘Crown jewel’: Camden’s Moran excited to umpire Little League World Series

Ed Moran

CAMDEN — These days, there are is an endless list of national youth baseball tournaments.

But, as he drove with his family to Williamsport, Pa. on Tuesday, Ed Moran was explaining to his two sons why the Little League World Series is still so special.

“I said any baseball player can go to Cooperstown and play at Dream Park if they raise enough money,” said Moran. “I said but not everybody can go to Williamsport and play in the Little League World Series. You can’t buy your way into that.”

It’s just as exciting for a Little League umpire to earn a spot at Williamsport, too.

Moran, a 50-year-old from Camden, is getting his chance this week when the Little League World Series gets underway on Thursday. He was chosen from a pool of as many as 5,000 umpires to work the 10-day tournament.

For the 20-year veteran umpire, the experience will be the culmination of a rigorous process that started nine years ago. Moran first had to work a different World Series (the Big League championship in 2013) and a Little League regional (in 2015).

“This is the crown jewel of Little League,” said Moran. “This is something that I’ve been working for, for quite a while. The gateway to get here is pretty substantial.”

Considering the time commitment, Moran is glad that his wife, Joanne, and sons Dylan (17) and Braden (14) get to make the trip to Williamsport with him.

“To get all the things done that I needed to get done to get here, they sacrificed a lot,” said Moran.

Moran, who works for the state department of technology and information, will get his game assignments as the tournament moves along. Umpires are graded on each game before being assigned to their next game.

The biggest contests at the World Series can draw crowds in the tens of thousands.

In this day and age, though, every Little League World Series game is on national TV. And that means TV cameras will be scrutinizing every umpire’s performance, too.

“Once you’re there and you’ve stepped onto the field, you kind of lose track of all that stuff anyway,” Moran said about being on TV. “But there’s definitely more cameras here than there were at any other game that I’ve ever done.”

That being said, Moran said he doesn’t expect to be too nervous once the games start. He’s worked countless Little League games before making it to this stage.

“There’ll be some butterflies because of the level and the expectations that most people will carry coming into something like this,” said Moran. “But I’m not really nervous persay. It’s just the anxiety of waiting to actually just get started.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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