PUEBLO — Pueblo native Travis Godec has been ringing up professional hitters for the better part of a decade.
"I love baseball, I grew up playing it and I guess when I couldn't play anymore, I needed to find another way in," Godec said.
The former Pueblo Central Wildcats baseball standout turned umpire has seen diamonds across the country.
"Hotels from the middle of March to the end of September usually, definitely a lot of nights and miles," Godec said.
After working in the Appalachian, South Atlantic, Southern and, most recently, International League, the umpire hopes this recent AAA stop will be his last.
"It would be nice to know if I had a shot or not in order to start planning the rest of my life, I'm 30 years old and if I get released I'm starting back at the bottom," Godec said.
Heading into 2020, the long-time veteran was all set to work Blue Jays spring training and then a tune up game at Nationals Park before the COVID-19 outbreak hit.
"Never stepped on a 'Big League' field as an umpire, guess I was supposed to have the opportunity to but didn't happen, kind of a bummer," Godec said.
With the Major and Minor League Baseball seasons currently suspended, Godec has found jobs as a part-time delivery driver for UPS and substitute teaching as a way to pay the bills.
"Piecing jobs together isn't always the best situation for a growing family, we were excited to see where I stood and what was coming up in the future," Godec said.
Now living in Roanoke, Virginia, with his wife and son, the baseball diehard says he's not ready to call it just yet and hopes they'll hit the field again this season.
"Usually you spend three years in AAA and they let you know if they like you or not, the writing is on the wall and I guess we'll see," Godec said.