LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Greta Langhenry was always interested in the game of baseball.
When she was young, she would watch games with her dad and even spent time as a catcher playing fast-pitch softball.
Langhenry’s love for the game is something that has stayed with her for years. Now, she gets to enjoy the game she loves making calls as an umpire.
“I read a story online about Emma Charlesworth-Seiler and Jen Powell, who are both umpiring in the minor leagues,” said Langhenry, “and that was the first time I’d ever considered umpiring. I thought, ‘Man, it’s too bad I couldn’t play when I was a kid’ or ‘More girls should be playing.’ But when I read about them, I thought maybe this is something that could work for me. I’ll look it up.”
Langhenry did her research and found an umpiring school in Ormond Beach, Fla., not far from her home. For her, being able to learn from professional umpires has been one of the most enlightening experiences of her journey.
“The teachers there are professional umpires all the way from the Major Leagues down to Single-A,” Langhenry explained. “To learn from guys who have done it and are very good at what they do has been pretty fabulous.”
On Thursday, Langhenry made her was to Lexington County Baseball Stadium to officiate the game between the Lexington County Blowfish and the Macon Bacon. She is the first female umpire in Coastal Plain League history. Like the players, Langhenry takes her craft seriously and hopes to simply improve every time she takes the field.
“I think all young umpires would like to make it [to the big leagues],” Langhenry said. “For me, the goal is just to get better every day. I’m still very new to this. For me, the CPL is a great place to work on my craft and to get evaluated. I’m graded and I go home and I watch the tape. I try to get better every night. I’d like to see how far I can go, but time will tell.”
There have been other women to officiate games as an umpire in other leagues before Langhenry. Now, she becomes one of the trailblazers for young girls who see her on the field.
“I think there are a lot more opportunities for girls in baseball now,” Langhenry said. “They’re doing great work encouraging young women to play at all ages. You know we have a USA women’s baseball team. Charities like Baseball for All, Justine Siegal is doing great work there encouraging young girls to play and I think those types of opportunities, including the opportunity I’ve been afforded to work here in the CPL, will really make a difference over time."