Thursday, January 28, 2010

Adventure in umping

I just read a post on the Fan's blog that mentioned a time when he umped a game (also it had some politics mixed in the post, but I have learned to stay away from that topic amongst friends and family). It's a good post and a great blog so make sure to check it out.

Anyway's, his mention of umping reminds me of an embarrassing anecdote. Now I know what you're saying right now.
"There's no way that anything embarrassing happens to the Kid!"
While it may be hard to believe, there is one or two times it has happened, one of which is described below. Other than that, you're right. I am awesome.

Onto the tale.. One summer I tried to make some extra money by umping pony league games. I think it was the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. My first game was between my home town team and a team from a few towns over. The problem was that a lot of the guys on the home town pony league team were on the high school team I played on.

As the new ump on the crew, I was assigned to be second base ump. It was a little weird being the ump on the field instead of playing, but I was confident I could do the job because I loved the sport and knew the rules. For a little while I was right.

Everything was going great through the first two innings. I had made a few calls in the field that were correct, and my confidence was building. Then came the next inning.

It was the top of the third and my home town team was in the field. The opposing team had runners at first and second. The next batter ripped a single to center, and what did I do? Did I do my duty and ump? Oh no, that would have been smart.

So picture this, the runners are advancing, I'm out there in full ump gear. The next thing I know I am yelling at the top of my lungs:

"Watch home, watch home!"

You see, having so many of my high school teammates out there overrode my stupidity alarm, and for that split second I thought it was spring and I was playing with them.

I watched the center fielder make a beautiful throw to the plate and gunned the lead runner out, saving a run. Then realization of what happened set in... I looked over at the opposing dugout, and if he was a cartoon the manager would have simultaneously had his jaw on the floor and steam coming out his ears. The crew chief was looking at me with utter disbelief and I had nowhere to hide from either one of them.

A very long conversation with the crew chief, both managers, and me later, I was allowed to finish the game. For some reason that was the last game that summer I was called to ump.