June 28, 2009
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- Michael Brown is comfortable in his role as an umpire on the baseball field.
After playing baseball at Mississippi State and in independent leagues, Brown was looking for ways to stay around the game.
Brown returned to school at Mississippi State and was looking for a way to make some extra money.
That''s when Starkville High School assistant coach Reggie Campbell stepped in.
"I ended up becoming close friends with Coach Campbell and he gave me an opportunity to come out here and (umpire)," Brown said. "It was an opportunity to get some work done as I was back finishing up my schooling."
Brown was working the games at Starkville High School site of the Dizzy Dean High School World Series on Friday and Saturday with another former MSU baseball player, John Scott.
Brown, a Vicksburg native, played at MSU from 2001-02, one as a second baseman under coach Pat McMahon and the other in the outfield under coach Ron Polk.
He fondly recalls his time at MSU and wishes the program the best in the future.
"We had a Southeastern Conference Tournament championship (2001) and I had a breakout game against Ole Miss when I hit three or four doubles," Brown said. "That game gave me an opportunity to play on a regular basis.
"It was a good experience and I''m looking forward to watching those guys play next year. They need to get the winning going again because the fans deserve it and deserve a winning program. With everything everyone puts back into the program, it''s time for them to be in the finals of the World Series."
Brown had career numbers of a .277 batting average, six home runs and 46 runs batted in for the Bulldogs.
After his college career ended, Brown played Independent Baseball in the Central League and Northern League, then returned home to work with his father for a time before returning to MSU.
As far as umpiring, Brown anticipates staying with it, at least in the short term.
"I''m going to continue to do it until I finish school," Brown said. "It keeps some extra money in my pocket, but I like it and enjoy it. I''m married and have a 5-year-old son so you''ve got to do something and I''m happy to be back in Starkville."