Like many great umpires who came before him, John Mitchell switched to the other side of the plate after sustaining an injury that ended his playing career. He played with the Stompers fom 1970 to 1976 as a first baseman and catcher, winning championships at Kosciusko and Amundsen Parks. Once he injured his knee, Les Duncan introduced him to umpiring at Orland Park. He eventually worked his way up to the head umpire position for the Western suburbs where he worked with Hall of Famer Dave Novak at Forest Park. It was clear from the beginning that John Mitchell would become one of Softball’s great umpires and his list of accomplishments proves it. He recently celebrated his 20th anniversay officiating at the No Glove Nationals. He was the 16″ Illinois State Director, assignment chairman, and umpire-in-chief for the USSSA, overseeing fourteen leagues and forty-five umpires. For the ASA he has served as the ASA 16″ assistant co-ordinator, assignment chairman, and umpire-in-chief, overseeing forty umpires. He is currently the NSA 16″ state director, assignment chairman, and umpire-in-chief. with forty-five umpires under his supervision. Besides his league umpire duties, Mitchel has also called balls and strikes at many league and tournament championship games. He umpired at the USSSA World Tornaments from 1990 to 1995, worked many ASA qualifying tournaments and umpired in the Pro League from 1996 to 1999. His other honors include the NSA World Tournament (1999-2001), the No Glove Nationals (1984-2001), the Hawthorne Park Classic (1985-1988), the Grant Park Classic(1994-1991), and the Clyde Park Classic A League (1990-1999). When he wasn’t behind the plate, John Mitchell was a Chicago Police tactical officer from 1969 to 1973 and a sergeant in the Oak Brook Police Department from 1973 to 1993. From 1993 to 1998 he served in Governor Edgar’s cabinet as director of the Emergency Management Agency. Since 1998 he has been the traffic incident manager for the Illinois Department of Transportation, an agency responsible for investigating all incidents on Chicago area expressways. He and his wife,Marilyn,live in Orland Park. They have a son, Tanner, and a daughter, Elaine.