Baseball Rules Academy evolved from Fox Sports Ohio Baseball Analyst Chris Welsh’s interest in the rules of baseball, the interpretations and ‘getting the call right.’ Along with Veteran Major League Umpire Ted Barrett, they have recorded hundreds of hours of video to explain the rules in an interesting and easy to understand format.
Chris has been the television analyst for the Cincinnati Reds on Fox Sports Ohio for 23 years. Chris has also worked television games for Fox Sports national broadcasts. After graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in Marketing, Chris was drafted and signed by the New York Yankees. He pitched 10 years in professional baseball including 5 in the Major Leagues.
Chris published a trade letter on pitching named “The Thinking Pitcher” for several years and has hosted more than 900 highly acclaimed baseball instructional vignettes called “Baseball Tech Talk,” shown on Fox Sports Ohio pregame telecasts. He is a guest speaker in several national forums on baseball and is part owner of Champions Baseball/Softball Academy, an indoor training center, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Rich Marazzi is the baseball rules consultant for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres. He has also served the Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians in the same capacity. Marazzi was first hired by Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman in 2004. He also served as a rules consultant for the newly created Israel Baseball League in 2007 and has worked with the Yale University and Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, Conn.) baseball teams as a rules consultant. His Ruleball program which teaches players and coaches about the nuances of the baseball rule book, is the first of its kind and he is the first known baseball rules consultant in major league baseball history.
In 2008 Marazzi taught a rules course at the Villages Lifelong Learning College in Florida. He umpired baseball for 23 years from 1966-1988 working high school, college and some independent professional games. He is a past president of the Valley Umpires Association and the New Haven Board of Approved Umpires in Connecticut. Rich had the privilege of umpiring the Old-Timer’s Day Game at Yankee Stadium for 16 consecutive years from 1989-2004. In 2012 he received the Umpire’s Appreciation Award from the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and was inducted into the Southern Connecticut Diamond Club Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game of baseball. In October 2014 he was inducted into the State University of New York at New Paltz Hall of Fame for his post college achievements.
Since 2005 Rich has made many spring training presentations to the staffs of the major league teams he is affiliated with and is a national clinician. He has been a presenter at the Texas High School Coaches Baseball Clinic, the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Clinic, The Las Vegas Baseball Show, the Mohegan Sun World Baseball Coaches Convention in Connecticut and the Danbury Westerners baseball clinic.
Marazzi was a writer and research consultant for Hall of Fame broadcaster Mel Allen in the late ‘70s. He played a similar role for the ESPN “Inside Baseball” show from 1983-86 working with host George Grande and worked with Grande as a research consultant while he was a Yankees’ broadcaster in 1989-90. During the 1985 and 1986 seasons he was the script writer for Yankees’ broadcaster John Gordon’s pre-game show on WABC radio titled, “You Make the Call.” Gordon was a Minnesota Twins radio broadcaster for many years. In 1988 Marazzi served as a research and technical consultant for the CBS-TV West 57th Street segment covering four umpires that was in part filmed at Yankee Stadium. In 2005 he served as a writer and researcher for Hall of Fame annoncer Bob Wolff’s Scrapbook show on MSG TV.
For 17 years (1997-2013) Rich hosted a weekly radio baseball talk show that was aired on WICC 600 AM in Bridgeport, Conn. and ESPN Radio 1300 in the New Haven, CT market and 97.9 ESPN in the Hartford/Springfield area. He has also done some work on WFAN radio in New York City where hew has appeared a guest several times.
A popular after dinner speaker, Marazzi also trained with Bob Sheppard as a backup for the late legendary public address announcer at Yankee Stadium,
A native of Ansonia, Conn., Rich was a catcher at Ansonia High School in Connecticut where he graduated in 1961 and was also a catcher for the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1965. Considered the most prolific rules writer in the country, he is a national baseball rules columnist for the USA Today Sports Weekly, Baseball Digest and several other publications including the Amateur Baseball Umpires Association and Collegiate Baseball. He has authored five baseball books including The Rules and Lore of Baseball and Aaron to Zuverink: A Nostalgic Look at the Baseball Players of the Fifties and Baseball Players of the 1950s. In the latter two books, every player who appeared in a major league box score from 1950-59 is profiled including the player’s post playing career. He also co-authored Aaron to Zipfel, a book profiling every player who debuted in the 1960s. His most recent book is titled, A Bowl Full of Memories: 100 Years of Football at the Yale Bowl was published in 2014.
In 2015 Rich launched a “You Make the Call” Scoreboard video program that is being used at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Miller Park in Milwaukee.
Marazzi was an educator for 32 years spending 29 of those years in the Connecticut State Vocational School system where he retired as an Assistant Director (Asst. Principal) in 1997.
He is married to the former Loisann Kelly. They have two sons and three grandchildren.