The Coastal Plain League welcomed their first female umpire to the league in a game between the Gastonia Grizzlies and Martinsville Mustangs on July 11. After a round of umpire call-ups to Minor League Baseball, Greta Langhenry earned the assignment as the next highest ranked graduate of the MiLB Umpire Development Advanced Course - per the CPL's umpire partnership with MiLB.
"Greta worked extremely hard and proved herself during a very competitive Advanced Course to earn this CPL assignment," said MiLB Umpire Development Director, Dusty Dellinger. "We are pleased to have a woman joining the CPL and I'm confident she will do a great job."
The CPL has had an exclusive partnership with MiLB Umpire Development (MiLB UD) since 2008. MiLB UD is the official training ground for umpires looking to have a career in professional baseball. Each year umpires who have completed MiLB UD training are assigned to the CPL and work in the league until they show they are ready to be moved up to the minor league level. A total of 186 CPL umpires have moved onto the Minors in the 12 years of the partnership, with four having made it to the Major League ranks.
"Our partnership with MiLB Umpire Development has been great for both sides," said Coastal Plain League COO/Commissioner Justin Sellers. "We have been working with Dusty and his staff, as well as our teams in anticipation of this day; and we are honored to be a part of this achievement for Greta and for the game in general. As with all of our umpires, we are looking forward to helping in Greta's professional development while in the CPL."
While Langhenry is the first female to umpire in the CPL, she is not the first to complete the MiLB Advanced Training Courses or work for minor league baseball as they have had eight total women make their professional debuts. Two are currently active in the MiLB ranks: Jen Pawol (2016-Currently in South Atlantic League) and Emma Charlesworth-Seiler (2017-Currently in Midwest League.)
Langhenry will stay in the CPL for the duration of the season or until receiving a call-up to the minor leagues should more movement occur and she is eligible. She will work alongside Geoff Lawhorn who was named an umpire for the CPL All-Star Showdown that took place earlier in July.
About Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Heading into its 23rd season in 2019, the CPL features 16 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,600 alumni drafted and 124 alums – including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor – make their Major League debut. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball.