case 'Jesse Baker':
Steve Liptrap grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and like
many boys, dreamed of playing professional baseball. He had a tryout
with the Cincinnati Reds, which didn't pan out, but he did play
semi-pro ball for several years.
In 1974, he moved to Tacoma, where for several
years he coached youth baseball in the Metro Parks program. One day,
he visited the Metro Parks office to complain about umpires. There,
he met Steve Orfanos and Bob Maguinez, and they encouraged him to
become an umpire. Liptrap took them up on the offer, and he has
built a reputation as one of the area's best baseball arbiters over
the past 30 years.
Once he started, and with tutoring from some of
the outstanding umpires in the area including Orfanos and Maguinez,
Liptrap worked his way up to the high school varsity level. By his
fourth or fifth season, Liptrap was handling local college games.
Over the past three decades, Liptrap has umpired in 10 state high
school tournaments, including five championship games. He's served
as an umpire in a game featuring the touring U.S. Olympic team and
has worked the PIL Tournament in Canada. For the past 15 years, he
has filled in as an alternate umpire for Triple A baseball games. In
fact, you can see him working the occasional Rainiers game at Cheney