The league was established in 1958 as an organization formed to provide a program for the youth of the Pleasant Hill area in cooperation with the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District, the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and Diablo Valley College.



Because the BLUE CREW are all-volunteer, the Umpire Leadership Team (ULT) understands the importance of recognizing the efforts of those individuals who go the extra mile for the kids by being an umpire.  Towards this end, the ULT uses a number of means for recognizing the importance and significance of the work our BLUE CREW members perform for the kids.

Recognition includes:

>  Umpire Service Pin
>  Crew Chiefs’ Choice Awards
>  Iron Ump and Rookie Umpire of the Year Awards
>  Umpire Elite Merit Pins
>  The Wheel
  LEVEL 7 Banner Sleeve Patch

1.  Umpire Service Pin
This award recognizes those umpires who have been an active member of the BLUE CREW every year since joining PHBA.  This pin is given to ALL umpires who return to the BLUE CREW fold every year to step onto the field of play in support of the kids.  It represents the level of commitment (in years) that umpire has given to PHBA.  Whatever game count they achieve for the season, their willingness to return each year to volunteer their time as an umpire is truly appreciated.


        2-4 Years                  5-9 Years                 10-14 Years               15-19 Years                

This pin is awarded at the start of each new season at the BLUE CREW’s pre-Opening Day get-together.  This pin can be worn on your umpire hat or shirt when working a game or at any other time that member of the BLUE CREW is at the park

2.  Crew Chiefs' Choice Awards
Crew Chiefs’ Choice awards are given to four umpires identified by the Division Crew Chiefs and vetted by the Umpire Leadership Team who best exemplify the values we prize in the BLUE CREW and at PHBA.  The awards are presented at the end of the season at the Managers/Umpires Picnic.  Those values are:

>  Sportsmanship – PHBA thrives on cooperation, friendship, and being proper role models to the children which is the
​     reason why we volunteer for the toughest position on the field

>  Dedication – A hallmark of an effective volunteer umpire is commitment to the schedule and assignments,
     punctuality, and a willingness to learn and improve

>  Teamwork – PHBA, as an all-volunteer league, depends on folks to “step up to the plate.” Throughout the season, all
     our umpires will receive frequent requests about available umpire assignments.  Those who answer the call, and help
​     us maintain 100% game coverage, are very much appreciated.


3.  Iron Ump and Rookie Umpire of the Year Awards
These two awards recognize those umpires that go truly above and beyond all other umpires in the BLUE CREW.  The umpires receiving this recognition have covered the highest number of games during the course of the PBHA season, playoffs, and tournaments. 

The Iron Ump trophy, consisting of a black lunchbox complete with a hearty HAM SANDWICH, is presented to the PHBA volunteer umpire who covers the most game assignments through the regular season, playoffs and PHBA tournaments.

The Rookie Umpire of the Year award is given to the first year umpire who completes the most game assignments through regular season, playoffs and PHBA tournaments.

Both awards are presented to the worthy recipients at the following season’s pre-Opening Day get-together.

4.  Umpire Elite Merit Pins
Umpires covering more than 16 games in a season (may include playoffs and/or tournaments) achieve what is called Elite status within the BLUE CREW.  These umpires go above and beyond the minimal game count commitment and are recognized for that achievement.  Umpires who achieve Elite status can fall into 1 of the 3 Elite levels of game coverage achievement:

PHBA Bronze Elite – 16 to 23 games

PHBA Silver Elite – 24 to 31 games

PHBA Gold Elite – 32 games and above

Umpires attaining any of these levels will receive a custom pin which indicates the year and level of the award.  This award is handed out at the start of each new season. The pin may be proudly displayed on the umpire’s hat or clothing when officiating games.

5.  The Wheel
This patch is recognition for the LEVEL 5, 6, or 7 umpire in our BLUE CREW who works at least one game in each of the Boys and Girls divisions during the course of regular season play plus successfully completes the certification exam displaying their knowledge of the rules in those divisions.  Wearing of the patch on the right shoulder displays to all the umpire’s qualifications to work ALL age groups and divisions in baseball and softball plus recognizes their knowledge of the rules in those divisions.


Retaining authorization to wear the patch is dependent on the wearer completing two requirements.  One, successfully work at least one game In each of the Boys and Girls divisions during regular season play over two seasons.  Two, successful completion of the certification exam at the end of the second season.

6.  LEVEL 7 Banner Sleeve Patch
This banner sleeve patch is given to a select group of umpires in the BLUE CREW who have achieved the following:

  • Western and Below Qualified (Baseball and Softball)
  • Plate and Base Qualified
  • Elite Status (16 or more games in a season)
  • Certified to wear “The Wheel”
  • Playoff Qualified
  • Tournament Qualified

This patch can be awarded at any time during the season when a LEVEL 6 umpire achieves the requirements defined above.  This patch is worn on the right sleeve of the LEVEL 7 umpire’s shirt just above “The Wheel”.

Retention of this sleeve patch is contingent upon the wearer maintaining Elite and ‘The Wheel’ status each season.

Looking forward to recognizing the achievements of every member of our PHBA BLUE CREW!

Ray Wrice
PHBA Chief Umpire