Fresno's Allen on Path to Major League Umpiring

FRESNO, Calif.

"Sean has professionalism," said Brittney Panella, Sean's manager at Sports Authority. "And when I say that he knows when to turn on the charm and definitely get that with the customers. But at the same time if it's time for business -- it's time for business. And he can switch it on and off very well."

But he hopes the job will only be temporary. Allen's ultimate dream is umpiring major league baseball.

"I got into doing little league stuff, " Allen said, "and it just ended up being like an avocation while I was in school. And it was good side money."

What started with seven weeks of umpiring instruction last year has led to assignments all across the country.

"Really you learn a lot being on the road, about different people and everything," Allen explained. "And that kind of intrigued me about it too. I like people. I'm a people person."

Allen says the constant heckling that comes with umpiring doesn't faze him.

"I don't even hear the fans," Allen said. "You just have to be confident. You have to show them who's in charge. You have to go out and make your calls."

But he admits one fan in Madison, Wisconsin, did get creative.

"I was standing on first base and he knew my mom's name," Allen recalled, "He told me it was 97 degrees in Fresno that day. And he asked me why I got the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich that day because it was terrible!"

The heckling doesn't stop on the field. His co-workers think they have his patented running style imitated perfectly.

But like on the field, Allen just shrugs it off. He knows his next baseball assignment is just around the corner for spring training.

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