Marcus, Iowa resident Bruce Dreckman will be like many other parents this week in cheering on his daughter at the girls state basketball tournament in Des Moines. Dreckman is unlike most parents in that once the MLB season begins, he will be virtually gone full time until October. You see, Dreckman is a Major League Baseball umpire for his day job, and the 21-and-a-half-year big league umpire would normally be getting ready for his spring training schedule to begin soon. Dreckman would need to make sure the schedulers work with him on keeping these dates free, but that has changed due to the ongoing MLB labor negotiations.
Dreckman says that, for a sizable portion of the sports carousel, he can be at his children’s sporting events. The issue becomes the summertime in which he has to rely on long-distance methods to keep involved in his children’s lives.
Dreckman says it was challenging for his kids when they were younger to not have dad around for 12 months of the year. As they grew older, they learned to live with the fact and how to take advantage of the time when dad is around.
The road to back-to-back state tournaments was not easy for the Dreckmans especially. Emily tore her ACL her sophomore year and did not get to play a full season. After that, Dreckman has learned to cherish the moments he gets to see Emily on the court.
Dreckman is no stranger to bright lights. Dreckman has umpired in four National League Division Series, two National League Championship Series, one All-Star Game, and has been on the call for three no-hitters. His advice to Emily ahead of Wednesday’s state quarterfinal is to do what has worked for Emily and the Royals all season.
The Royals face Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton in the quarterfinal round at state on Wednesday at 3:15 PM. KLEM will broadcast the game live with pregame coverage starting around 3:00.