Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:11PM - 226 Views

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Portia Williams

PDT Staff Writer

Major League Baseball umpire Greg Gibson, is amongst the baseball legends featured in a mural on the Portsmouth floodwall.

Gibson has been employed with the MLB as an umpire for 15 years. He worked in the National League from 1997 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000. Gibson has worked six Division Series, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2011, along with two League Championship Series in 2005 and 2012, one World Series in 2011, and the 2008 All-Star Game. He was the home plate umpire for Randy Johnson’s perfect game on May 18, 2004, as well as Tim Wakefield’s 200th win.

Before reaching the major leagues, Gibson umpired in the Appalachian League in 1991, Florida Instructional League in 1991 and 1994, South Atlantic League in 1992, Florida State League in 1993, Eastern League 1994–1995 and International League from 1996–1999.

Gibson said he came from very humble beginnings, and that having the opportunity go to Riverfront to view the Reds in action was something that he really enjoyed. Born and raised in Ashland, Ky., he said he has a close connection to Scioto County, and the surrounding area, as he would spend summers with his grandparents in Ohio.

“My grandparents lived in Franklin Furnace, and my grandfather would always listen to the Reds on the radio. That is how I gained an interest in baseball,” Gibson said. “The highlight of my grandfather’s summer was taking us to the Reds games.”

Gibson started umpiring to make extra money in college. Hestarted umpire school 1991, and spent eight years in the Minor Leagues. He now resides in Kentucky with his wife Michelle and their three sons, Kyle, Cameron, and Carter. He said he plans to work in the MLB for at least 15 more years.

“There are only 68 major league umpires, that’s what most people don’t realize, and once you attain that level, they like keeping you around for a long time,” Gibson said.

The Portsmouth Floodwall mural was painted by world renown muralist, Robert Dafford summer of 2012. While Gibson said it was an honor to be featured in a mural, he said the recognition is more for his family than for himself.

“This is more for my parents, this is more for my family. My grandparents on both sides went through the depression in Greenup County and Scioto County.

“My grandparents are all deceased now, but for them to look over heaven’s balcony and smile, that means a lot to me,” Gibson said.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or portiawilliams@heartlandpublications.com.

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