by Alan Babbitt
DJ Reyburn '99 umpired his first Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
The former Flying Dutchmen baseball and football player was selected to be the left-field umpire for the annual game between the American and National League.
It was Reyburn's first MLB All-Star Game assignment.
Reyburn has been working full time for MLB since 2014. He started his quest in January 2000 at umpire school and rose up through the minor leagues.
At Hope, Reyburn played baseball for four years and football for two years. He graduated with a degree in sociology.
In a 2017 News from Hope College profile, Reyburn said his big-league dream was first dreamt during one late-night chat in a dorm room on the third floor of Kollen Hall.
A sophomore and a center fielder on the Hope College baseball team at the time, Reyburn and his roommate, Jay Leitz '99, "were sitting around, talking about life and the future and I said, 'If I could do anything for the rest of my life, I'd want to be a major league umpire," recalls Reyburn.
"And I'll never forget what he said. Jay goes, 'Oh, that's attainable. I thought you were going to say you wanted to be an astronaut or something, but you can totally do that.' And I said, 'You know what? I can do that. I'm going to give it a shot.'"
Reyburn lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Cherie, and their three children.