Emmett Ashford impacted the world of baseball in a variety of ways. His major influence was as the first black umpire in organized baseball. He spent 15 years as an umpire in the minor leagues prior to his stylish and groundbreaking entry into the major leagues which culminated in his officiating in the 1970 world series. In this milieu he was a pioneer in training umpires on the national and international level. Upon retirement he worked for then major league baseball commissioner, Bowie Kuhn. His duties included serving as Commissioner of the Alaskan League and overseeing activities in Hawaii.
Subsequently, Mr. Ashford, a Chapman University alumnus is: 1. In the Chapman University Sports Hall of Fame 2. One of the 150 Faces of Chapman University 3. The recipient of a posthumous Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University in 2012.
Recognition/awards established in Emmett Ashford's name:
- CAHPERD (California Association of Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance, diversity and social justice section ) - Emmett Ashford Community Spirit Award ....ongoing
- Playing By the Rules - state umpire of the year award....established July 12th 2005
- LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) - inductee Los Angeles high schools Sports Hall of Fame. ..inaugural event June 10th 2011
- The Baseball Reliquary - inductee Shrine of the Eternals... July 28 2008
(Text and selected images courtesy of Adrienne Bratton.)