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Posted on: December 21, 2021

Shores Detective enjoys 'Major League' Career Path

Photo of Detective Ed Hickox at his desk at Public Safety with inset photo of Hickox as an umpire.

Ed Hickox credits a combination of skill and luck in achieving his dream of becoming a full-time Major League Baseball umpire in 1999, after 16 years of working his way up through the ranks.

When he and 21 fellow MLB umpires lost their jobs during a union labor dispute just eight months later, Hickox made an unlikely career move – he went to the police academy and, in 2001, became a Public Safety Officer for the City of Daytona Beach Shores.

“My future in baseball was uncertain, and I had a family to support,” he said. “I wanted a rewarding job and had always respected the profession of being an officer.”

Hickox’s time out of baseball was short-lived. He started over in the minors and earned back the prestigious position as a full-time umpire in Major League Baseball in 2007. He planned to quit his job with Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety then, but Director Stephan Dembinsky offered him the opportunity to return in the off-season as a part-time detective in the Criminal Investigations Division.

Hickox, 59, has been doing detective work here each fall ever since. He investigates property crime cases and assists full-time detectives on major cases. He enjoys working with the public and loves his city co-workers. Over the years, he’s discovered many similarities between being a professional umpire and a Public Safety Officer.

“You never know what you’re going to face on the job, day-to-day,” Hickox explained. “You have to diffuse situations, make split-second decisions, write reports.”

A native of DeLand and Eagle Scout, Hickox played baseball at DeLand High School and on scholarship at St. Johns River Community College. He graduated from the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School in 1983 (second in his class) and has taught at the school for 38 years. He is a commercial pilot, volunteering with Angel Flight Southeast, a nonprofit that provides free air transportation to those with urgent medical needs. He made flights to help people impacted by the Haitian earthquake in 2010 and flew supply and relief missions after Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle in 2018. He and wife Lisa have two children, Mackenzie and Ashton.

Hickox is one of just 76 full-time Major League Baseball umpires. As MLB umpire No. 15, he has had countless career highlights including:

  • Has umpired 2,638+ MLB games over 27 seasons
  • All-Star Game in Arizona in 2011
  • National League Division Series in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014 (replay), 2019 and 2020
  • Replay official for the 2018 Wild Card Games
  • Was behind the plate for Matt Garza’s no-hitter on July 26, 2010, and for Homer Bailey’s no-hitter on Sept. 28, 2012
  • Was the home-plate umpire for Alex Rodriguez’s first MLB hit (1994) as well as his 3,000th (2015)
  • Inducted into the Florida State League Hall of Fame in 2010

Hickox was benched due to an injury for a few months this year and did not work the post-season. He still hopes to work a World Series someday. And he’s looking forward to a few more years – as an umpire and a detective.

See WESH 2 News’ story at https://www.wesh.com/article/umpire-part-time-daytona-beach-shores-detective/38571461

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