Stories from Mick the Umpire

My friend Mick is a little league baseball ump and has been for over 25 years. It is an unpaid and entirely selfless avocation, if you want to umpire in the world series. I am always entertained by his knowledge of the baseball rules and how they come into play in a game. He has to know instantly how to call a grounder that is fair when it goes bouncing fair past third base, but goes foul or a fly ball that is fair when it passes third, but goes foul. How to instantly react to base running situations is another puzzle for me, but not for him.

Some of his stories are just human interest stories. Like the time he learned “You do not embarrass the family.” Seems this part Oriental kid about 17 years old came to the plate. He was big for his age, six-three, 230 pounds. Maybe he was having a bad day for when he came to the plate, he didn’t wave his bat once at three straight down-the-pipe pitches. “Strike one!” “Strike two!” “Strike three, yer out and the sides out!”

As his teammates ran from the dugout to take their positions on the field, this big kid wound up the bat like a windmill. Mick says, “Don’t do it.” The kid keeps winding and lets it go. Mick says, If that bat LANDS, you’re gone!

Well it crashes into the dugout wall. “Yer outa here!”, Mick yells.

The kid goes to his dugout done for the day. His mom arrives and asks the manager if she can take him home. “Sure, go ahead.” The kid bends over to pick up his gear and the five foot mama grabs his earlobe and marches him out to the car. She shamed him in front of all his peers.

Baseball

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