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Where did the catcher go?

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#1 CS-Blue

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  • Joined 24-May 12
  • LocationNorthern Kentucky
  • Your Association Name :Northern Kentucky Baseball Umpire Association (NKBUA)

Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:08 PM

I got a good one that I bet no one has ever had happen to them.

I was doing a one-man JV high school game (very common in northern Kentucky). I was at a less-than-stellar municipal field in the middle of nowhere down by the river. It was in decent shape, but their side fences only went about halfway into the outfield, they had a portable mound (shared the field with the softball team) and the right field fence had a 15 foot gap between the outfield fence and a building that was in play if you hit it, a homer if you hit over it. A classy place.

Anyway, it was the second inning, the home team was in the field. F2 crouches down and F1 fires a 58-foot curve into the dirt that gets by F2. I step aside letting him scurry to the ball and I pull off my mask as I peeked out to see where the runner is (he took off on the pitch and was already at second). As I looked back to see where the catcher went to...he was gone. I took a moment (less than a second) to wonder where and then I peered down at the ground next to the fence. There was the catcher looking up at me with his leg stuck in a water spigot access hole. He had knocked the cover off and fell in. The crowd noticed what happened to the catcher at the same time I did and gasped in amazement.

I called time and left the runner at second since he was almost there before the catcher even turned to get he ball. I helped the catcher out of the hole and the head coach came over to survey the problem. He told me it was their first home game of the season (this was in early May). They had to wait to get their mound from Texas (storms earlier this spring delayed things a while). He said he had no idea that hole was even there. We covered it back up and made sure it was as secure as we could make it. Suffice to say, the catchers were a little more apprehensive about running after passed balls from there on.

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