Teen Prefers View Behind the Plate

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ARMSTRONG TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Some kids grow up wanting to be police officers, firefighters, or teachers, but those career moves didn't really intrigue Bryce Brewer.

An avid baseball fan, Brewer had no interest in playing professionally. Instead, he'd rather be behind home plate, calling balls and strikes.

Although the grass is still green here in early December, the trees are bare, with a chilly bite in the air. For many, that means baseball season is in the rearview mirror, but don't say that to Bryce Brewer.

"I just love it. Those close plays at home plate, bottom of the ninth, tie game, bases loaded, two outs, the excitement and the fact you never know what's going to happen," Brewer said.

While many of his friends are away at college, Brewer, 18, from just outside of Williamsport, has been studying a different type of textbook and is preparing for a different form of schooling.

"I always like to talk about the history or the players themselves, and he knows all the umpires by name, so it's definitely very unique," said his father Brad Brewer.

"It's something that is completely different. It's something that is foreign to me, but for him, he loves it. It's his passion. That's where he belongs," added his mother Danielle Brewer.

Bryce has been umpiring games at the amateur level since he was 14 years old.

Later this month, the 2018 South Williamsport graduate will head to Florida for umpire school, hoping to become a professional official.

"My family has always said, 'If you're having fun doing what you love, you won't work a day in your life.' And I love what I do. I have fun with it, and there's no better place than being at a ball field for me," Bryce said.

Over the past three years, Bryce estimates he's umpired nearly 200 games a year. The highlight of his young career so far he says has been umpiring the Little League World Series crossover game at Lions Field in South Williamsport between Canada and Australia.

"My ultimate dream is to work a World Series game in the MLB. That'd be my ultimate dream."

Bryce will be attending Wendelstedt Umpire School near Daytona Beach, which has produced more Major League Baseball umpires than any school of its kind combined. If Bryce passes all five phases, he could be umpiring Minor League games as soon as next year.

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