Major league umpires are charged 25 percent more per person in union fees than players, according to federal disclosure documents obtained by the Associated Press.

In 1998, it came to an average of $5,756 for each of the 66 members of the umpires' union, according to a form filed in April with the U.S. Department of Labor. The union imposes annual dues of $500 per member plus a $1,000 initiation fee, collecting a total of $28,000 last year. In addition, umpires paid their union $351,922 in special assessments.

By comparison, players owe their union $25 in dues for each day they are on an active major league roster, $4,575 for an entire 183-day season.

In reality, however, the players never pay a cent because the money they get from the union's licensing program is more than 10 times the amount they owe in dues.

While umpires make $95,000 to $282,500 annually, according to seniority, player salaries range from $200,000 to $11.9 million this year.

SIGNED: P Josh Beckett became the last of this summer's first-round draft picks to sign a pro contract, getting a four-year, $7 million deal from the Marlins. Beckett, picked No. 2 overall in June, will make his debut in the Fall Instructional League.

BRONZED: Pee Wee Reese will be remembered at Louisville Slugger Field with a larger-than-life bronze statue of him in a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. The statue of Reese, the Louisville native and Hall of Famer who died two weeks ago at age 81, will be erected at the city's new baseball stadium.