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Razor Shines
06-27-2006, 12:14 AM
I was just wondering how many other umpires there are on this board. And what their most memorable encounters with coaches/players/fans were, good or bad. I started umpiring when I was fifteen so this is my 9th year, and I think it is one of the best things I've ever done. I think just as playing sports my whole life has taught me to be competitive and given me a strong work ethic, umpiring has greatly helped me in my professional life in dealing with employees and customers and being able to defuse sutuations before they get out of hand.

But my most memorable encounter with a fan happened a couple years ago, I was doing a 12-13 boys AAU game with an older umpire, about twice my age, who is one of my mentors. I was behind the plate and Mark was on the bases, the whole game we had an a gentlemen riding us the whole game giving us every cliche in the book, but not really going over the line. In about the 5th or 6th inning a call went against this guys team and he really lost it and Mark, the other ump, calls time, walks outside the fence to where this guy is sitting in his lawn chairdown the third base line, asks him to stand up and the man does. At this point I am thinking I am going to have to break up a fight, which seemed odd because Mark had always taught me not to get involved with fans and just let them talk, but I honestly thought he had snapped. So the man stands up and Mark sits down in his chair and sits a couple seconds looking at the field and finally yells out "Ryan, he's right you can see everything much better from right here!" And everybody started laughing, even the guy and he didn't say a word the rest of the game. Now I'm not sure whether that was the right thing to do or not, but it seemed funny to me at the time.

Anyway that's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. I love sitting around listening to other umpires tell their favorite stories, maybe I'm the only one though. I love umpiring and I am very young so I still have a lot to learn but I would encourage anyone who's considered it to give it a try.

Well I have no idea what kind of reception this will get so I appologize in advance if someone feels it was a waste of time reading this.

Scrap Irony
06-27-2006, 12:39 AM
Umped for seven years while in high school and college for extra money. One of the guys I worked with ($5 a game) was getting absolutely abused by a "Soccer Mom". Finally, after having taken grief from her for the entire game, he snapped.

Without talking, he flipped two balls over the fence, (she caught them), stared at her, got in his car, and left.

Never said a word.

I umped the rest of the game in complete silence.

Razor Shines
06-27-2006, 12:58 AM
Umped for seven years while in high school and college for extra money. One of the guys I worked with ($5 a game) was getting absolutely abused by a "Soccer Mom". Finally, after having taken grief from her for the entire game, he snapped.

Without talking, he flipped two balls over the fence, (she caught them), stared at her, got in his car, and left.

Never said a word.

I umped the rest of the game in complete silence.

That's funny, I suppose not to you at the time. I've heard of guys doing this but never actually seen it.

Jpup
06-27-2006, 02:24 AM
Umped for seven years while in high school and college for extra money. One of the guys I worked with ($5 a game) was getting absolutely abused by a "Soccer Mom". Finally, after having taken grief from her for the entire game, he snapped.

Without talking, he flipped two balls over the fence, (she caught them), stared at her, got in his car, and left.

Never said a word.

I umped the rest of the game in complete silence.

:laugh:

gonelong
06-27-2006, 08:03 AM
Umped for seven years while in high school and college for extra money. One of the guys I worked with ($5 a game) was getting absolutely abused by a "Soccer Mom". Finally, after having taken grief from her for the entire game, he snapped.

Without talking, he flipped two balls over the fence, (she caught them), stared at her, got in his car, and left.

Never said a word.

I umped the rest of the game in complete silence.

At 15 I was umping girls softball for 6-8 graders. I took a good bit of abuse for 2-3 games from one particular coach who figured he could intimidate me.

I had told the fella that ran the place before the game he had 2 options.
1) Sit this guy down and tell him to shut his yap
2) Watch me walk out in the middle of the game.

He chose 2 and so did I. I walked over to the guy and handed him my ball/strike counter and told him, "you might as well ump, your a lousy coach and role model to these kids."

It was the first time he was speechless all season. It was so quite you could hear the gravel crunch under my feet as I walked away.

/only yells at the refs/umps when I am in my living room

GL

princeton
06-27-2006, 08:41 AM
when I was 15, I was umping the plate, and a father was doing the bases. I had to call the father's son out at the plate. He swore at me and stomped off the field. I finished the game solo.

CySeymour
06-27-2006, 09:31 AM
Umping youth games is very thankless. Here there guys are, mostly volunteering, doing the best they have. Mean while, you have these beer bellied dads in the stands who thinks their little Johnnie is the next Hank Aaron and cannot believe someone called them out on strikes.

I umped one time, and that was enough. It was two games, and the first one went off without incident, but the second game was aweful. Sure, I probably made some questional ball/strike calls...it was my first time. But the abuse I took from the dugout was miserable. After the game, the comissioner of the league asked me if I wanted to do it again, and I politely said thanks but no thanks.

RANDY IN INDY
06-27-2006, 10:15 AM
When my wife's brother was playing Little League, I went to most of his games. It was a small league and they depended on volunteers to call the bases. Usually a plate umpire and one base umpire. I found that when I showed up early, I was always getting asked to umpire, since most of the people knew me from my playing days in the area. I never really liked to call his games because even though I was always fair, it was always tough to call a game when you were that close to a kid. I figured out that if I showed up late, I didn't have to umpire, and started making that my habit.

One day, I showed up about 15 minutes late and I noticed that the game had not started. They couldn't find anyone willing to call the bases. I actually sat in my car and watched the home plate umpire go from person to person and ask them to help out. I finally walked up to the field, the umpire looked at me and said, "Boy are we glad you showed up." I told him that I would rather not umpire, but if no one else was willing, I would do it. He said that he had asked everyone, and I was his last resort.

Well, right off the bat, there was a "bang, bang" play at first and I called the runner out. Immediately, one of the men in the stands got all over me, and ran his mouth till the third out of the inning. I, peacefully, walked out the gate, into the bleachers, and handed the fellow the indicator and went over and sat down with my wife and her parents. He looked at me and said, "I don't want to umpire." I walked over, took the indicator back and said, "If you're not willing to umpire, keep your mouth shut."

After the game, he came to me and apologized. It is a thankless job on many occasions. I really respect the people that put in their time to call the games. Most are wonderful, but there are always those guys that carry the chip on their shoulder and can't handle any measure of authority. I can usually pick those guys out before a game ever starts. We've already ran into a few of those with my son's traveling team this summer. Usually, with those guys, if you make them feel that they are as good as they think they are, the close calls will go your way

RFS62
06-27-2006, 10:28 AM
The last time I umpired, it was a fast pitch softball game that a friend of mine was playing in.

Same as Randy, it seems like I was always asked to ump when I showed up and invariably an ump didn't show up.

I reluctantly agreed to call first base. The first close play had a pitcher covering the bag and it was a bang bang play, and I called the runner out.

My line of sight went from the bag to the dugout of my buddies team. I'll never forget the reaction in the dugout. Every single player jumped up and screamed, threw their hats, kicked dirt.... it was a panaroma of disgust and loathing for my call. And in the back there was my buddy, he just looked down rubbing his head, trying not to come out and join the lynch mob.

It was actually hilarious after the fact, thinking about how they had dragged me out there and I called it like I saw it, against their best interests. I'll never, ever forget that sight of all those guys flipping out at once, and my buddy and his hang dog look on his face.

RANDY IN INDY
06-27-2006, 10:47 AM
The last time I umpired, it was a fast pitch softball game that a friend of mine was playing in.

Same as Randy, it seems like I was always asked to ump when I showed up and invariably an ump didn't show up.

I reluctantly agreed to call first base. The first close play had a pitcher covering the bag and it was a bang bang play, and I called the runner out.

My line of sight went from the bag to the dugout of my buddies team. I'll never forget the reaction in the dugout. Every single player jumped up and screamed, threw their hats, kicked dirt.... it was a panaroma of disgust and loathing for my call. And in the back there was my buddy, he just looked down rubbing his head, trying not to come out and join the lynch mob.

It was actually hilarious after the fact, thinking about how they had dragged me out there and I called it like I saw it, against their best interests. I'll never, ever forget that sight of all those guys flipping out at once, and my buddy and his hang dog look on his face.

Sounds like a great strategy, RFS62, since I noticed that you said, "The last time I umpired.";) :laugh: :beerme:

Highlifeman21
06-27-2006, 12:40 PM
First story...

I was probably 18 or 19 at the time, and I was waiting for a game to end on the main field at this one park before the game I was supposed to ump happened.

End of the 7th inning, some big kid gets up and belts one deep, but this field has no fences, so big boy's gotta chug it around until he passes out. There are only 2 umps, mind you: plate and bases. Apparently the plate ump realized that this kid had only enough gas to make it at 3rd at most, so he jogs down to the foul side of 3B and is waiting for the play. Meanwhile, the base ump is kinda jogging next to this kid as he's making his way around to basically be right on top of the play to make the call. I'm sure you can figure out what happens next.

Big boy does end up going for the triple, where we have Johnny Plate Ump and Bubba Base Ump about to make a call at the same time. As anticipated, they both make a call. Johnny calls safe into 3rd, Bubba rings him up. Big boy doesn't know what to do, so he stays on the base.

So, the two umps, instead of coming together and figuring out who saw what, and trying to agree on a call, they start jawing at each other. Priceless.

Big boy ended up being out, cuz Bubba Base Ump apparently either convinced, Johnny that he had the right call, or Johnny just gave up.

I still can't get over that play.

--------------------------------------------

Story Two, involves me


I was 21 at the time, and home for the summer from college and wanted to make a lil extra scratch. I was always more comfortable behind the plate, felt more into the game, etc, so that's what I did most of the summer when I umped.

The game of this story, was IIRC AABC, and the kids were between 16 and 18. The kid on the mound for CTL Aerospace had some serious breaking stuff, and admittedly he was trying to backdoor his slider all day, and I tried to be consistent and give him what I saw, but I had never umped a game with a kid which this kind of breaking stuff, so at times I did feel like I was guessing. I mentioned this to no one until probably a week after the game.

It was the top of the 4th, and the kids against this pitcher were really at my mercy since they weren't swinging at much he had to offer, since they couldn't hit it if they tried. Between innings, the coach of the team batting against this CTL kid basically told his kids to crowd the plate and try and get hit. His exact words: "Stand there, lean in and let it hit you." Well, from what I had learned from the rules as well as other umps was that you have to make some sort of attempt to avoid getting hit, but it's not rocket science to dive into the ball and then try to act like you're getting out of the way and let it hit you.

Not these kids.

They went up there like statues and tried to lean the elbow, the shoulder, whatever they could get over the plate to try to get to 1B. The first kid this CTL kid hit sorta tried to get out of the way, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and sent him to 1B. The next kid gets up and two pitches into the AB sees that he's about to get hit in the elbow, sticks it out, leaves it there, makes no move to get out of the way, so I simply call it a ball. The batter thinks he's getting 1B, so he starts trottin down, so I'm tellin him to get back in the box and his coach is screamin at him to get to 1B.

Now the CTL coach is getting into it, and wants the batter to get back in the box. Let the fun begin.

The CTL coach comes out to argue that it was a ball, and the other team is delaying the game, etc... The other coach is yelling at me saying that his kid got hit, deserves 1B, this is 2 HBP in a row, and I should warn the pitcher. Instead, I give this coach a warning and tell him to get his player back into the batter's box, and to go sit down. He didn't like that.

So now he gets into the box and tries to reenact how his kid got hit, that he tried to get out of the way, and that he should have runners on 1st and 2nd. So the CTL coach is making fun of him for begging for calls, and that his team is so pathetic they have to try and get hit to get on base, etc.

At this point I just kinda walk away towards the pitcher, just to get away from the 2 coaches. The batting team coach runs after me, grabs me by the shoulder to get my attention so I immediately run him. So he's going nuts that he got run, starts ripping into me, I'm a horrible ump, don't know the rules, etc. I guess he was taking a break for air or something, and I just smile and ask him, "Are you done?"

And all this b/c I overheard him tell his kids to lean into it and not move.... Silly AABC coaches

pedro
06-27-2006, 01:01 PM
I hated being called "blue".

Red Leader
06-27-2006, 01:11 PM
I hated being called "blue".

Senor Azul?

WMR
06-27-2006, 01:19 PM
I love umpiring; most of the coaches know me and consider me one of the 'better umps,' so I don't hear much flak b/c while I'm perfectly willing to TALK WITH a coach about anything, and hear him out, my only response to being yelled at will be to ignore it for a while and then warn him and then run him.

People in the stands I always ignore and have never acknowledged.

Being younger than most of the coaches, if you're fair, tell them that you're going to do your level best and call things consistently, but don't take crap, you'll be fine. No coach wants to get run and if you set out fair rules and enforce them consistently, most games go off w/o a hitch.

The most important thing is to make it clear what you will and won't tolerate. Let them run over you once and they'll do it twice.

Razor Shines
06-27-2006, 02:48 PM
I hated being called "blue".
During the high school season I umpire quite regularly with a guy who says that being called blue is akin to calling a police officer a "pig". I laughed and said are you serious? He looked me square in the eye and said "I'm dead serious", and walked out to the field. I have never asked him about it again but some day I'll get an explanation out of him.

And most of you are better men than I. I am embarrassed to say that I can't recall ever doing a game for free, even on the bases. Here I am talking about how much I love umpiring and yet I don't think I'd volunteer. And furthermore I can't believe anyone would give a volunteer umpire a hard time, if I was running those little leagues I'd institute a zero tolerance policy on making comments to umpires, one word and you're gone for the game, and I'd enforce it.

Razor Shines
06-27-2006, 03:17 PM
Highlife,
I had a somewhat similar situation to your second incident. Not about the leaning into the pitches but the coach grabbing you.

I was doing a game last year at a little league and it was the same age 16-18. I was working with my cousin who is the same age as me, and lets just say that he was forgiving than you were to the coach. He was behind the plate I was on the bases. I don't even remember what the argument was about anymore but at some point one team's coach gave my cousin, Jon, a light shove. Well not only does Jon run him, he declares the game is over (we were in the 3rd or 4th) and proceeds to take his cell phone out and call the police and tell them he's just been assaulted. The end of that set of events obviously now sends the other team's coach into a furry. He feels his team is being punished by not getting to play, for the actions of the other team's coach, seems like a logical argument to me.

I'm doing my best to hide but there's not much of a place to hide on a baseball field. So within five minutes we've gone from one angry coach to both team's coaches, players and fans being very angry with us, and the police are on the way. I manage somehow to extricate Jon and myself from everyone else and try to get him to change his mind, but if there's one thing you can say about my cousin, it's that he is stubborn. So he beggins to walk off the field and I don't see much choice but to follow him, and the best part is that as we're walking off the field to overwhelming boos from both sides (at least we brought the team's fans together), someone yells "this is supposed to be for the kids!". Jon in his wisdom yells back at the top of his lungs "I'm not out here for the kids, I'm out here for the money!! And don't talk to me like a child!!"

So just to finish the story the police came and felt like their time was being wasted, and I got my plate gear on and finished the game by myself. Jon has not umped since.

Johnny Footstool
06-27-2006, 04:33 PM
I was playing softball a few years ago, and we had a deaf ump. We were familiar with him - he had called several of our games that year and in years past, and he had done a good job.

A hot-headed friend of mine hits a grounder deep into the hole at short. The SS bobbles it and my friend hustles down the line to make it close. The ump hustles down the line, too.

Bang-bang play, and he calls my friend out. A couple of us groaned, but it was too close for anyone to argue.

Except for my friend. He turns bright red and starts stomping towards the umpire. He charges up to the guy, takes a deep breath, points a finger in his face, and prepares to start screaming at him.

Then he remembers the ump is deaf.

So he's standing there for about five seconds with his mouth open, trying to figure out what to scream at the deaf umpire. The ump is giving him this look of puzzlement, like "you do realize I can't hear you, right?"

Finally, my friend shakes his head and simply kicks dirt at the ump. Everyone, including the ump, laughs like crazy. My friend kind of hangs his head and stomps back to the dugout. He didn't speak for the rest of the game.