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April 05, 2010

The Woman Behind The Mask

The Woman Behind the Mask


Today is major league baseball's opening day. Umpire Perry Barber worked the bases at many major league spring training games, but she won't be behind the plate for the regular season match ups. No woman ever has. Perry didn't play or even watch baseball growing up. She was, however, a trivia buff who couldn't stand getting stumped by baseball facts. So she bought some books on the sport, and was immediately captivated. Then Perry tried umpiring and got hooked on that as well. Perry talks to Dick Gordon about the challenges she faces as a female umpire, and the satisfaction she gets from making the tough calls.

Dinner with Dear Abby

Jim Trelease remembers as a kid curling up with his dad and having a story read to him. Years later, Jim made a point to recreate that same thing for his own kids. Spurred by his experiences volunteering in his kids' school, Jim ended up writing a book for parents about how important reading aloud is. It had moderate success, selling 50,000 copies and things died down. But then Dear Abby heard about his book and mentioned it in her column. Jim's book skyrocketed to a best-seller-the money he made paid for his kids' college education. But even more memorable, Jim got to have dinner with Dear Abby herself.

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