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.
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