A dream that started throughout various area diamonds within the Latrobe Little League, Latrobe-Derry Area Teener League and American Legion has made its final stop in the big leagues.
Latrobe now has its own full-time Major League Baseball umpire.
The Wendelstedt Umpire School announced on Tuesday that Latrobe native Jansen Visconti, a professional baseball umpire, recently earned a full-time Major League Baseball contract. Visconti graduated from the Wendelstedt Umpire School in 2010.
Visconti, the son of Sandi and Mark, made his MLB debut in April 2018 during a doubleheader between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto. Visconti, 32, wears No. 52 and still worked in the Triple-A International League throughout the 2018 and ’19 season, but he was also promoted to MLB’s call-up rotation.
Visconti worked 108 MLB games during the 2018 season and 142 in 2019, the most of any call-up umpire. Visconti, who worked 250 regular-season MLB games the past two seasons, didn’t have an ejection in 2019.
Visconti worked PNC Park in Pittsburgh for the first time last August as the Pirates faced the Milwaukee Brewers during a three-game homestand. He worked his hometown Pirates in the past, but never at PNC Park in Pittsburgh until last season.
Last November, Visconti was recognized by Close Call Sports as the UEFL’s 2019 Fill-In Umpire of the Year. Jeremie Rehak, a Murrysville native, was recognized as the Fill-In Umpire of the Year award winner during the 2018 season.
Visconti planned his college career around becoming an umpire, earning a bachelor’s of science degree in finance at Penn State University. Visconti carried extra credits — between 16 and 19 a semester — to graduate early and attend a once-a-year course at the Wendelstedt Umpire School in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he beat out more than 300 hopefuls there, and the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring in Orlando, Fla., for one of 16 professional contracts available.
Visconti earned his first professional contract at age 22. He has worked through the Gulf Coast League, Short Season Class A New York-Penn League, Class A South Atlantic League, High A Carolina League, Class AA Eastern League, and now the Triple-A International League to reach the major leagues 10 years later.
Visconti made his first professional appearance inside a Major League Baseball stadium in 2014 when he worked the 16th edition of the All-Star Futures Game, part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star week festivities at Target Field in Minneapolis. He worked as a first-base umpire during the Futures Game in addition to the Home Run Derby.
Visconti, during his career, previously worked the California League-Carolina League Class A All-Star game in Winston-Salem N.C. It was the first All-Star game he umpired in his 18-year career, which started when he was 14 in Latrobe Little League. After that, he moved on to call Latrobe-Derry Area Teener League, American Legion and local high school baseball games.
Visconti, who is also an instructor at the Wendelstedt Umpire School, is a past recipient of the Harry Wendelstedt “The Chief” Award. The award is given to one staff member that exemplifies the same love of God, family, country and baseball as Wendelstedt, who passed away in 2012.
Visconti is a past recipient of the Tom Gorman Award for dedication and professionalism and he also earned the Ed Vargo Award, named after the long-time MLB umpire and supervisor from Butler.