Calling the game on baseball's biggest stage

During the World Series, players are under pressure, but there's one person on the field that might feel the heat more than you think: the home plate umpire. 

Tim Tschida was a major league umpire for 28 years. He worked in three World Series including one game as home plate umpire. He knows better than just about anyone else what Minnesota's Mark Wegner was feeling behind the plate tonight.

"He’s strong. He's got his A-game," Tschida said.

For Tschida, watching the World Series is an annual tradition. But this year he's not rooting for the Dodgers or Astros; he's pulling for the umpire crew.

"I get nervous for all the guys every game I watch. I want to see them do well. I want to see them all succeed, get their tough calls right."

Tschida said home plate umpire and fellow Cretin-Derham Hall alumni Mark Wegner probably had a case of nerves before the big game.

But once the first pitch is thrown, Tschida says you have to block out the extra pressure that comes with ump'ing game seven of a world series and focus on making the right call. 

"In those games, my legs were like rubber from the first pitch, and the players will tell you the same thing...until they get the ball moving and you are four or five pitches in.”

While recent improvements like instant replay and the strike zone on the screen have made it easier than ever for fans and even some players to second-guess the umpires, Tschida said it’s not just the pro-athletes on the field in the post season who are at the top of their game.

"Today's umpires are so good, and they have to be good every night. To be selected to work game seven of the World Series now is strictly merit, and that means he had a fantastic series as did the other guys working the series," he said.

Even at the highest level, umpires still have to pay their dues in the school of hard knocks. But Tschida said for Wegner, working home plate in the fall classic finale is definitely in his strike zone.

"I know what I'm going to see tonight. I'm going to see a talented conscientious umpire who's going to go out there and be himself and do a good job," he said.

Tschida said Wegner is the second Minnesotan to be home plate umpire in game seven of a World Series. Bethel University alumni Jeff Nelson of Cottage Grove got the same assignment in 2014.