Umpire Mania!

esq-umpire-082509-lg-36043849This was yet another Life Experiment that I tried for a while…. Alabama High School Athletic Association girls softball umpire!  This one was going really well until…  Here is how it went down….  One of my church members was already calling a lot of games when he needed help.  So the next year I decided to take the test, and lo and behold I passed!  So I got all the gear and became an umpire.  I had played baseball much of my life so I knew what I needed to know.  The only way I’d mess up is if I made a serious boneheaded call.  Well One afternoon I proceeded to do that and if I had a bus nearby I would have crawled under it!  At the time i was calling behind the plate several innings into the game.  The chalk outlining the batters box and first base was all but gone.  Had all the chalk been kicked away I would have been ok.  BUT that would be too easy!  Late into the game with a runner on first and second the batter swings….  Hits the ball softly….  It dribbles to the right of what I believe is the first base line and so I call it a foul.  Houston, we have a problem….  Runners advance and my partner (church member – PPRC Chair to make it worse) calls them back to their bases….The lady coach comes running out like the running of the bulls in spain….  It pretty much looks like I’m about to be gouged.  I was right as she begins to yell that it’s a fair ball, how could I call that foul, as I look down, she was right, I had mistaken the vague chalk mark for the first base line when it was actually part of the batter’s box!  It was pure agony the rest of the game.  She was one me the entire game.  She said she would be reporting the call to the association.  The chaos that i created with my partner as he tried to do something equitable was incredible.  Luckily her team won, nothing was reported.  That was a long ride home with my friend!  But in an ironic turn of events I stuck with it and was called to umpire the District Tournament.  Then, for the championship game, all coaches could vote for the umpire crew that wanted in the Big Game based upon each umpire throughout the day. My partner and I were chosen.  Go figure!  Redemption – or at least it felt like it.

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