So, you want to be an umpire

The most vilified official in the world of sports - the Baseball Umpire!

Until you’ve actually been there, done that, experienced it first hand, you’ll never appreciate what these people go through.

Our 2015 season is about to begin, so take a moment and think about how and why you as either a player, coach, sponsor, athletic director, commissioner and league official should conduct yourself.

No other place in time, in the world of amateur athletics, is someone required to be 100% on the mark - regardless of how new they are to the position, then the amateur baseball umpire.

Amateur Baseball Umpires are usually supplied by a local “Board of Umpires”, which is a business that schools, trains and evaluates part time people who officiate amateur baseball games.

These people are not from the professional game, usually. In part and in total, they do their best to present a fair and reasonable environment to the rules and protocols of the sport. The key word in that last sentence is - reasonable. So, being that you’re an amateur too, be reasonable with these people and understand the amateur game in total -not just the wins and losses.

By the way, get out there and place yourself in the “blue suit” and see how easy it is for others to make judgments on you, when the lack of that judgment is really all about them.

Nice post. There is also another feature on the MLB network about the 2014 world series called ‘The Third Team’. It follows the World Series umpire crew from selection through game 7. Fascinating. I made my son watch it and he really enjoyed the perspective it gave him and he flat out told me that he won’t give umpires as much crap going forward.

Nice to hear, since I’m an umpire as well. I’m trying to convince him to get into umpiring for 10U leagues to earn some extra cash for the summer. Kids his age get paid $20-25 per game and it’s a tremendous experience for them. I guarantee they come away being better sportsmen. Guarantee it!

Towards the end of last summer, I took my Mrs. to see family in Upper State New York. I witnessed one of the neatest confrontations between a plate umpire and a bench coach, during a high school varsity game.

It was the first inning and the third batter steps in and takes three strikes looking. He starts to walk away from the batter’s box, then slams his helmet on the ground then tosses his bat - almost hitting a group in lawn chairs.

The plate umpire - who stood all of 5 feet 5 inches, called time then tossed the batter, much to the irritation of his head coach.

Out the man (coach) comes from the sidelines, animated as all get-out, hat in hand ready to scream up a storm - when … (ready for this) the plate umpire takes off HER face mask, places HER hands on her hips and just stands there.

I have yet, in all my years in this game, ever saw a man deflated like I did that morning. SHE just stood there with that… “well” look that only a woman can give a man.

Now here’s the beauty of all this … here’s a guy … oh about 6 feet 6 inches tall, tipping the scales at … I’d say 240, … literally dead in the water.

I wish there were more ladies in blue, behind the plate and as base/field umpires. It would be really neat to see a big bruiser of a coach make a fool of himself in front of a group of youngsters, acting like an jerk to a lady … umpire or not. I’d really like to see that!