Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How Embarrasing

Many years ago....

I decided that I wanted to become a part-time Softball Umpire... Don't ask why... I don't remember.

So... off I go reading the required material, taking the test and passing it (yes there is a test).  Now to the store to by the offical Umpire Uniform..... A Blue Shirt and a Dark Blue Pair of Pants plus a dark pair of athletic shoes.

You also had to watch at least 16 innings of another umpire doing thier job.  So off to the local baseball diamond.  What is hard, is to watch the umpire..not the game.... You learn very quickly that the busiest person on the field, is the umpire. Because, with every hit there is a place you have to get to very fast to cover the result of the hit and at the same time stay out of the way of the players...

Now... I'm ready...

Just before leaving the house on my first real Umpiring experience my wife (Lord Love Her) asked me where it was I was going to be.   I told her and she rolled her eyes back and while hugging me goodbye said "I'm glad that your insurance is paid up.. Because that is probably the WORST PART OF TOWN you can be in...  

Hmmmmm.... Thanks Babe... and I drive across town thinking of all the rules, regulations and what all I had just got myself into... But now I cannot forget her last words... THE WORST PART OF TOWN YOU CAN BE IN.

I arrived one game early hoping to be able to watch the two umpires going through their roles only to find that one of them had not shown up... So... Yep... here I go....

I walked out onto the field and took my place between 1st base and 2nd..  Thank God, at least I was not going to have to be the Home Plate Ump..

The "on field" team warmed up.  I tried to look as "Professional" as I could again follow the Golden Rule of Umpiring which is "STAY OUT OF THEIR WAY."  All the while, those little words given to me by loving wife kept bouncing around my head.. THE WORST PART OF TOWN YOU CAN BE IT.

Finally.. the moment arrived,,, The Home Base Umpire... raised his hand.. stepped over the plate and brushed it off with his $.99 cent paint brush... Turned and scanned the field and yelledd those most famous words..."Play Ball".

The 1st Batter took his stance and the Pitcher glanced over his left shoulder at 1st base.. I don't know why... it's just what they do just before pitching...

I was concentrating and being very Proffessional looking.  Knees slightly bent with my palms resting on my knees... That was when it happened..

BANG.... A PISTOL SHOT RANG OUT SOMEWHERE OVER MY RIGHT SHOULDER.... in THE WORST PART OF TOWN YOU CAN BE IN!!!

My reaction...   well of coursee.... I dropped flat on my stomach.....

When I openned my eyes after making sure I wasn't hit.  I noticed everyone else on the field were still standing... But looking at me.....

The Southside Track Competion on the Track and Field Stadium which was adjacent to the Baseball Diamond blocked by a very large row of thick trees had  just started the 1st 100 yard relay race.... With... The shot of a starter pistol.....

I didn't continue to be a Softball Umpire very long....  Main reason... it seemed about every third game, one of the two teams that had all laughed at me as I picked myself up and dusted my self off that first night was playing...   I also remember that I had gotten a standing ovation from everyone in the stands.

From that game on there was someone who always yelled out "Hey Blue... got your bullet proof vest on?"




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