A few years back, I was at the dish in a JRBB game when I caught a deflection straight into my mask.
I took a couple of seconds to shake my head and compose myself but when I went back to calling pitches, my vision was a little fuzzy. After 3 or 4 pitches, it still had not cleared up.
Initially I thought I might have hurt myself but when I reached for my prescription glasses to wipe my face off, I found one of my lenses had popped out of the frame.
I found my lens on the ground and quietly walked back to the scorers booth and asked if they had something to use as a screwdriver to tighten the frame. I was handed a pocket knife that worked well enough. I asked the scorekeeper not to say anything. I really did not want to give anyone ammunition to talk about my strike zone.
I now carry an extra set of glasses to the fields.
Now that there is funny!!! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!
I was doing the plate in Kutno, Poland for the 2010 Euro Regionals.
The team in the field was Lithuania. There were only a few Lithuanian fans, but they brought Vuvuzellas, air horns, and tambourines!
These guys sounded like Boris Badenov from Rocky & Bullwinkle! "Booooo Umpire! Boooooo!" I could tell they were just having fun, and I smiled and had fun with them.
The Lithuanians were a very competitive team, and I had felt they could have been a dark horse in the tourney. Good players! And their fans were a riot!
Nothing like being cussed out by a Lithuanian! :-)
You went to Kutnow??? In Poland?? For the Euro Regionals?? Really??? I didn't know that.
Yup, and I was "asked" to volunteer again this year. The normal slew of Americans who would normally go over are a little strapped for plane fare and vacation time.
I am always a pushover to travel, but I do love the tournament and I love the orphans which American umpires have been supporting for over 15 years.
Hard to resist an invitation like that!
Over the years and from time to time, we hear of Mike's travels to Kutnow. And it seems that (almost) everytime we do, Mr. Beowulf chimes in with: "You went to Kutnow??? In Poland?? For the Euro Regionals?? Really??? I didn't know that."
So maybe you realize it and don't care, or maybe you don't recognize that your stones are being broke I don't know which. So in case it is the latter, this is just a heads up for you.
Anyway, for my own unusual story (and I apologize if I've posted this in the past), years ago when I 1st started officiating LL baseball a foul ball was hit by a young man that went straight back and bounced high off the backstop. The ball then continued down and hit me right on top of the head. I don't wear a helmet and it stung pretty bad. From that point forward, whenever a foul was hit similarly, I would immediately place my right hand (palm up) on top of my head. After a bunch of times doing this, it became automatic. Fast forward a couple years and I was on the dish of a Senior Girls Softball district tournament game. My partner took ill so I had the whole field to call. Early on there was a close play at 2nd base that I called "safe" from my position between home and the pitchers plate. Judging from the fans reaction, most did not agree with my call. A couple innings later, a foul ball was hit back and high off the backstop. My hand went to the top of my head as I turned to step out of the catchers way when the ball landed in my hand. There were some gasps from the fans in the general area to the side of the backstop. I handed the ball to the catcher who asked," HOW DID YOU DO THAT?". I jokingly responded that "I have eyes in the back of my head", at which point one of the dads yelled out, "OH, is that where they went"! I thought it was pretty funny and told him so between innings.
I still do it, but nothing's come even close ever since.
Time wounds all heels.....
I was working a Palimino game one night and as usual I go up the line between innings. This one kid has a cannon and for whatever reason his habit was on the last pitch of his warmups he would step forward and throw one really hard like an infielder. Somebody asked me a question so I turned to answer. As I did the throw got away from the pitcher and he drilled me in the back of the head, dropped me like a rock. It turns out his father used to be a sub contractor of mine so I knew him very well. He called me over to the screen after the inning to make sure I was OK. I told him sure, I just wanted to verify his business address so I knew where to sent the court papers.
Ironically two years later I was working a Pony game. I went to the fence to get a drink and took a ball in the leg from the F4 during warmups. Turns out it was his little brother. It has been a running joke ever since.
Michael S. Taylor
One Junior League game long ago I called a kid out on appeal after he missed third. The kid was pleading with me overturn the call, insisting that he had indeed clipped the bag on his way home. I was unmoved. Finally he kind of shrugged his shoulders, threw his head back and hocked up a lungy (pardon the imagry) high up in the air. "If that hits the ground you're out of the game" I told him. He gave me this horrified look as he pondered the thought of impeding the disgusting mass. He thought better of it and I tossed him which is just as well. What would I have done if he did catch it?
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