OXNARD, Calif. -- The California League, the only league in Minor League Baseball to honor an umpire, announced its award for Umpire of the Year. The Doug Harvey Award, named after the 2010 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and nearby resident of Visalia, was instituted as an annual award in 2010 and given to the Cal League Umpire of the Year.
In a pregame ceremony in Lancaster before the start of game one of the Cal League Championship Series, Mike Rains was presented the eighth Doug Harvey Award. Rains is in his fourth season as a Minor League umpire. The 26-year old umpire from Round Rock, Texas was selected as Crew Chief for the Cal League Championships.
"Congratulations to Mike Rains for being the eighth recipient of the Doug Harvey Award." Cal League President, Charlie Blaney stated. "Mike is tremendous worker and is a top prospect. We've been very honored to have him in our League this year. The Cal League sincerely thanks Doug Harvey for lending his name once again to this prestigious award".
• Doug Harvey Award winners, 2010-2017 »
Rains was the top vote getter as voted on by the Managers of the Cal League who know and work with the umpires more than anyone else in the League.
Doug Harvey was a Major League umpire for 30 years and umpired in 5 World Series, 6 All-Star games, and 9 National League Championship Series. He was nicknamed "God" by the players because of his strict focus on the rules of the game. Harvey was ranked as the second greatest umpire in history, according to the Society for American Baseball Research, behind only Bill Klem. In 2007, Referee magazine selected him as one of the 52 most influential figures in the history of sports officiating. He began his professional umpiring career in the Cal League in 1958 and umpired in the League for the 1959 and 1960 seasons before moving up to Triple-A.