Photo courtesy of Jeff Dobish. Daylon Dobish (third from the left) with his fellow umpires.

Former Bloomingdale Bulls pitcher Daylon Dobish has a chance to make it to the Major Leagues, but instead of throwing strikes, he potentially will be calling them. Daylon was invited to partake in MLB umpire training school at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach.

Daylon played for Bloomingdale High School from 2012-2015. He started out as a position player and eventually transitioned to pitcher, becoming an important two-way player for the Bulls when they made their 2014 postseason run all the way to the state championship game. He is the only pitcher in Bloomingdale baseball history to start a state championship game.

After high school, he went on to play for Midland University, an NAIA school in Nebraska, where he was a four-year starter at pitcher. He graduated, and soon after he was given a unique opportunity to continue his baseball career.

“Every baseball player dreams of going to the big leagues, but when you’re finishing up your senior season and you’ve got a bum shoulder and it’s not working very well, you have to figure out other ways of making it,” said Daylon.

Daylon has been on a strict training regiment during the four-week camp, waking up at 7 a.m. each day. Not only does he have to practice training simulations out on the field, he has to spend a good amount of time in the classroom studying the MLB rulebook and umpire’s manual as well.

The participants are Former Bloomingdale Baseball Player Completes MLB Umpire Training School trained by former MLB umpires.

“I came into this thinking, ‘I’ve played baseball my whole life, I’m sure that I can umpire,’ but I was very quickly humbled,” said Daylon.

According to Daylon, umpires have to work their way up from rookie ball, just like the players do. He said on average it takes eight to 10 years to make it to the highest level.

There are about 100 people trying out for potential jobs at the training school, and only about 10 will be selected from Vero Beach and another 10 will be selected from the Wendelstedt Umpire School near Daytona after graduation for another advanced course that lasts a little more than a week.

Those select umpires will start their careers in the minor leagues. Students that don’t get selected have the opportunity to try again in the future as many times as they’d like.

Daylon umpired as a kid at 14 with his stepfather, Jeff Dobish. The two have a special bond that was forged by their love of sports, baseball in particular.

Jeff learned everything he could about the game when Daylon became interested at a young age. He even became the PA announcer for Bloomingdale when Daylon made the team. Daylon recently took Jeff’s last name, officially becoming a Dobish.

If Dobish doesn’t make it right away, he would like to practice his craft at the high school or college levels and maybe even get into coaching baseball. He then would like to attend another camp in the future and try again.

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Nick Nahas
Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.