Jon Lindstrom worked as an umpire in minor league baseball for three years, so he has plenty of stories to share with his buddies. He lists Bradenton, Fla., as the worst place he has worked to cover a game and the Philadelphia Phillies facility in Clearwater, Fla., as the best.
"Bradenton was just a really old facility," Lindstrom said. "Clearwater has a major league facility in a minor league atmosphere. They treat you like a king and always do the right thing."
Currently, Lindstrom works as an umpire for the IHSA and also does a bunch of youth tournaments and a bunch of local college games. If giving the choice, he would rather work behind the plate than on the bases.
"It gives me more of a chance to keep the game under control and see where the game can take me," he said.
While watching baseball, Lindstrom enjoys checking out the umpires.
"I love to look and critique and get involved with what they're doing and see how I can improve my own game."
Lindstrom also has officiated games in football, basketball and volleyball but feels nothing compares to baseball.
"I have the most respect for baseball umpires," he said. "I think it is the most challenging. You have to be in on every pitch. In other sports, there may be four or five plays where there is nothing for you to call."
If granted the wish of tossing one person out of a game, Lindstrom would pick the manager of his favorite baseball team, the White Sox.
"Ozzie (Guillen) has fun with his ejections, and he has fun talking with the umpires," Lindstrom said. "If I ever had the opportunity to toss Ozzie, I would take it in a heartbeat."