Mike Cerra and Jeff Arthur have traveled all over the country to officiate games

Carbondale’s Mike Cerra and Jeff Arthur have spent countless weekends as road runners.

In most cases, they’ve gone in different directions but have arrived at similar destinations: Umpiring duties at Division I College Baseball Games.

Traveling throughout the East, the pair have worked the Big Ten, Big East, Atlantic 10, American East and Patriot League. Cerra has also worked the ACC. Both have experienced a close-up view of the best talent in college baseball.

Three Decades

Cerra is in the midst of his 30th year in Division I baseball where he has umpires a number of games showcasing future major leaguers.

A veteran of 15 Division I Regionals and countless conference tournaments for 25 straight seasons, he’s been on nearly every highway along the east coast.

“ The first five weekends, I was in Richmond which put on the miles round trip,” noted Cerra.

Most of the time, Cerra meets up with the crew at the game site, so many rides are solo journeys. Cerra done 40 games thus far this season and estimates he just passed 1,300 D-I games in his career

“I’ve been fortunate to see many campuses like LSU, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt during Regional playoffs,” offered Cerra. “I’ve met some great people along my career.”

After 30 years, Cerra says the end of his career is dependent upon the wear and tear on his physical health. “I’d like to go at least two more years but I feel pretty good health-wise, so it may be longer. It’s enjoyable.”

While he sees himself nearing the end of a his career, he has advice for a young umpire aspiring to become a D-I ump.

“Learn the rules, find a mentor and umpire every game at every level like you are being watched.”

17 Seasons and Counting

Arthur, who had an opportunity to umpire with his long-time friend (Cerra) in a few pre-season non-league games, estimates he’s surpassed the 5,000 mile travel mark so far this season.

In 2016, he did the D-III National Tournament and title game and has worked 10 American East Tournaments, four Patriot League events, five D-III Regionals and will be working the D-II Regionals May 18-19-20.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” noted Arthur. “I’ve met some great people and umpires along the way.

Arthur’s goal is another 10 years of balls and strikes which translates into another 50,000+ miles.

Every weekend since February 17, Cerra and Arthur have been traveling to college campuses overseeing diamond play for three game at the highest level of college action.

Combined, they’ve traveled nearly 500,000 miles in their careers.

That would qualify them as Road Runners.