Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Rio Rancho Umpire Is Calling the Shots Now.(West Side Journal)

Byline: James Yodice Journal Staff Writer

* After several tough years, Kevin Sweeney is starting to see things go his way

The parallels between the advances of a professional umpire and upgrades in transportation are as clear as a fastball down main street.

Just query Rio Rancho's Kevin Sweeney, a rookie umpire in the Pacific Coast League.

"In the Texas League, you go from Wichita to El Paso, and you have a game the next night, and you're getting into the hotel at 10 or 11 in the morning, and they expect you to be perfect," says Sweeney. "But it's good training ground. It's a big mental game."

Sweeney's traveling quarters haven't exactly been of the first-class variety as he paid his dues crisscrossing the country by car the last five years. …

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