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A real-life first game experience....

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Now that the new year is nearly here (or already is for the many in warmer climates), I thought some might get a kick out of this article I wrote last year shortly after my first game. It's a lighthearted but completely true story of my first experiences, one that might bring a smile to vets and help some fellow newbies! Now, 108 games later, it's kinda neat to reflect back on it.

http://voices.yahoo.com/why-will-never-yell-umpire-8270297.html?cat=14

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Seeing your first good pickoff really is a terrifying experience... It's like the ball's at first base before you've even turned your head, much less moved your feet. And so naturally, you just make a super-quick call and call him out... :banghead:

Good article.

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That's outstanding!

And you seem like like you have way more than a year under your belt. Stay at it!

Thanks for sharing your article.

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Thank you. I realize we probably wouldn't agree on virtually anything on the political front, but I constantly read the forum and very much enjoy your points and perspective. And I've learned a great deal from them as well.

That's outstanding!

And you seem like like you have way more than a year under your belt. Stay at it!

Thanks for sharing your article.

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And a tip of the creased black six-stitch to you, Sam!

Thank you!

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I hope you don't mind but I used your story on one of my Association Sites to try to inspire our new guys!

I should have asked first. I will remove it if you want me to!

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No, quite the contrary - please feel free to forward the link to anyone you'd like! I'm honored that you'd do so...

I hope you don't mind but I used your story on one of my Association Sites to try to inspire our new guys!

I should have asked first. I will remove it if you want me to!

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That was an awesome example of great writing! I am about to embark on my first full season and just passed my NFHS 2012 test and getting ready to crank it up. Your article rang true for me. I'm very excited to pull on the mask, tuck in my shirt, clear my indicator and yell, "Play ball!" Thank you for the morning inspiration!

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That was an awesome example of great writing! I am about to embark on my first full season and just passed my NFHS 2012 test and getting ready to crank it up. Your article rang true for me. I'm very excited to pull on the mask, tuck in my shirt, clear my indicator and yell, "Play ball!" Thank you for the morning inspiration!

Hack, you know I like you, so I'm going to give you this unsolicited advice: When that time comes, just say "play."

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Excellent article.

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That was an awesome example of great writing! I am about to embark on my first full season and just passed my NFHS 2012 test and getting ready to crank it up. Your article rang true for me. I'm very excited to pull on the mask, tuck in my shirt, clear my indicator and yell, "Play ball!" Thank you for the morning inspiration!

Hack, you know I like you, so I'm going to give you this unsolicited advice: When that time comes, just say "play."

I thought the same thing but didn't want to be rude! :rose:

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That was an awesome example of great writing! I am about to embark on my first full season and just passed my NFHS 2012 test and getting ready to crank it up. Your article rang true for me. I'm very excited to pull on the mask, tuck in my shirt, clear my indicator and yell, "Play ball!" Thank you for the morning inspiration!

Hack, you know I like you, so I'm going to give you this unsolicited advice: When that time comes, just say "play."

I got caught up in the moment Kev. Thanks for the tip. :notworthy:

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No worries. It's a big moment with many challenges once that door opens.

And I wish you all the luck in the world! Stay at it!

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Now at ten years, go back and read it again. You will wonder how you could ever have been that naive but so sure you knew what you were doing. I love training excoaches, they know they know the rules and they are sure they know what the umpires should be doing. Then they start training and they keep mumbling,"I had no idea! I had no idea there so much to learn!" Not a knock on coaches, they just don't have the experience base to understand what it is all about. Good article.

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I tell every brand new guy who does a first game (as they are walking with their head down) Let me tell you something. We have all had a first game and no one on planet earth could possibly screw theirs up any worse than I did. It usually gets the head up to the level where we can talk. I try to encourage new guys not make them feel like dog crap (like a few did to me) We need to get guys to want to stay and umpire!

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For the next couple of weeks I have been assigned to do games with all of our new chapter members. I really enjoy doing this plus I get paid pretty good money to call some jv games with no pressure. Pretty nice gig. District games start in three weeks and that is a new ball game. Yesterday I called a jv tourny game with a guy who just two weeks ago looked like he was totally lost on a high school ball field. I could not believe the improvement in two short weeks. I knew both of the coaches and let them know that I was working with him and would be talking with him a bunch in between innings. No problem there. You know, sometimes I believe it is better to get a guy who has never called games and has no habits (bad or good) than a guy who has called 5-10 years and has some pretty bad habits and muscle memory ingrained in them. The mechanics that you teach them and they practice from the start is what they will carry with them. I had the plate and the main thing that I wanted this guy to work on yesterday was getting a good timing rhythm and getting used to having his eyes watch the whole play before calling. When making his safe/out calls to use proper mechanics and not look like he was doing the backstroke when calling a runner safe. When a ground ball is hit and the fielder has made his throw to first, I was stressing for him to go back down to the set position, making sure he had a good angle about 15 foot away and to watch the play. He caught on to that quickly and had two bangers where not only he got the calls right, but he stayed down with his hands in proper position and WATCHED THE WHOLE PLAY. On one a ball was dropped at the last second and due to him using proper mechanics, called it just like it should have been called. Nice to see guys starting out who want to call games and we have an obligation to teach them right and with some compassion (no belittling or name calling)

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To me, I have as much fun teaching new guys as actually working anymore.

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mike, i think that is the natural progression of things.................I'm with you as well...........I enjoy teaching and working training games as much or more than my own schedule .......

Passing it on, and teaching the right way is an honorable profession of its own.......

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