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New Blue: Trouble and Triumphs of the Freshly Minted Umpire Part I
New Blue:Trouble and Triumphs of the Freshly Minted Umpire Part I
How did you get into being an umpire? That’s the question I’ve been asked the most over the past few weeks. My answer always starts with “Well there was this old man cutting my hair in Quantico, Virginia...” Who else starts any sentence with that? How does your story start? I have to ask because if I have been asked that question fifty times in four weeks, then I KNOW some of you have been asked thousands of times.
Four weeks you say? Yes, I have been an umpire for four weeks. Or more importantly, fourteen innings. But we’ll say four weeks for now because that’s how long ago my association took my dues, gave me my green book and my orange book and said “read this.” My name is Mike, and I umpire high school baseball. Or at least that’s the goal. I’ve worked two scrimmages and my first JV game is tomorrow. I worked the last scrimmage on Monday, and the time I left the ball field to the time I write this has been like one looong Christmas Eve. I’m not talking about the ‘I’m a 20 year old guy in an apartment with nowhere to be cuz everything is closed’ Christmas Eve. I’m talking the ‘seven year old boy who can’t even keep his eyes closed’ Christmas Eve!
That’s what this article series is about; the troubles, trials, and triumphs of being green. Or blue as it turns out. New Blue! I want a place to write my experiences for my benefit, the benefits of others, and maybe, just maybe you’ll be entertained. If not by my humor, then by my utter cluelessness.
So this is what I need from you, dear reader. Most of you are seasoned, serious umpires. I need you guys to stay tuned in and give me comments. Let me have it. I have thick skin, and despite what my wife thinks, I’m pretty quick on the uptake. I’ll be relating situations, asking questions, et al. For you guys that are in the same boat as me, or even in the boat behind mine, this series is for your benefit. You can learn something from the guy ahead of you even at the very ground level. And do what you have to do to learn as much as you can. I don’t care if you have to bookmark this site and others and come back every fifteen minutes to see if somebody has posted something new. Every experience that another guy posts or writes about is another one that you can put in your pocket for when it happens to you.
That’s it for now. Yeah, I know it wasn’t very long, and I didn’t say much, but I just wanted you to get to know me and my cause a little. Next time we’ll talk about some fun stuff and how oblivious I truly am to the way things are as an umpire. It’ll be a good time. Now I have to go “fit check” my gear again, and spit shine my shoes. It’s Christmas Eve.