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Darkside Umpire

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    ALLL Umpires
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  1. This is the high end of umpire equipment. The selection is good and the quality is fantastic. The one drawback is the price. Everything is top dollar but you definitely get what you pay for in this equipment. The Gerry Davis pants are the gold standard of umpire pants. Everything else, I do shop around because of the price but you can't get this quality of pants from anywhere else.
  2. This book is the autobiography of Bob Motley, an umpire in the Negro Leagues from the years right before the integration of baseball to the end of the Negro Leagues. He also had some time in the Pacific Coast League and worked with Emmitt Ashford before Emmitt promoted to the MLB and became the first African-American Umpire in the MLB. Bob Motley has a very colorful style of telling his story. He uses colorful language in everyday conversation and his stories are engaging, funny, heart-breaking at times, and a real eye opener for the hardships that men of color faced. Ultimately, this is the story of an underdog who never gives up and never lets anyone keep him down. The story begins with his formative years in Mobile, Alabama and the racism which was a common part of his life. One of the my most memorable parts is when, after playing a couple of years of sandlot ball, he convinces a traveling team to give him a shot at pitcher and his reactions when they do give him a shot. Let's just say that he didn't make it as a player but got the opportunity to umpire and he was hooked. Race is a big part of this story. Ultimately, Motley doesn't let institutional racism keep him down but continues to fight through it to chase his dreams. The story shows a proud black man who fought through it all and came out on top, not jaded, but appreciative of the opportunities of which he took full advantage. He is a Royals fan, lives in Kansas City, and is a major part of their organization. He seems to be getting the respect now that he deserved for many years. Some views from an umpire: There are stories that he tells that shows how green he was for many years. He was dedicated to the craft and loved the game of baseball but would probably make many umpires today uneasy with his flamboyant style and his raw emotions.It is encouraging, though, that even after umpiring for years in the Negro Leagues, becoming the UIC,and being the chief umpire of the East/West game for many years, he approached umpire school with the knowledge that there was something he could learn and became a better umpire through it. Some of the rules he maintained for himself while riding from game to game on the team bus allowed him to be seen as an impartial arbitrator on the field. While he was in awe at times being able to umpire some of his childhood heroes, such as Satchel Paige, he was able to keep a level head and call his game. Overall, this is a good read which made me want to look up more about the Negro Leagues, I caught it on Audible as an audio book. The narration is fantastic. In my hierarchy of books about umpires, I'd place this above "Everything Happens in Chillocothe" and right below "Men in Blue: Conversations with Umpires."
  3. I just got done listening to "Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants, and Stars" and I must say that it is a great book for anyone interested in the umpire experience in the Negro Leagues. It is a very colorful book (meaning with stories and with language) and goes extremely fast. Bob Motley claims to be the last living Negro League umpire, as can be seen on his facebook page. While the book has a lot of the same qualities as Doug Harvey's "I am the Greatest Umpire Ever" story, his braggadocio is tempered by a history of people trying to keep him down but his pride not allowing that to happen. I got it on Audible but it is also available in print elsewhere. Highly recommended.
  4. http://www.amazon.com/The-Men-Blue-Conversations-Umpires/dp/0803270453/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1426342143&sr=8-1 It's available from Amazon in paperback with Prime shipping for $21.76. There are also penny versions, probably old library editions. When I bought the paperback version, it came complete with a note saying, "Bean Reardon is my hero." I tend to agree. Can't go wrong with basically just paying shipping to get this great book.
  5. I have listened to this book 6 times on audiobook thus far and it is one of the best reads I have ever had on the art of umpiring. Yes, Penny Barber is quoted in the back of the book as this being a life-changing book in the afterwords. I can't help picking up umpiring tips from these gentlemen who aren't looking on making a manual on how to be a good umpire but share how they worked the game. The book is on audible if you don't have time to read it but can listen to it on those long commutes to games out in the boonies.
  6. Greetings I am a volunteer Little League umpire and love it. This is my 8th season umpiring. I love the interaction I have with the kids, the coaches and other umpires and live to train umpires on how to do the job better. I also have a dry sense of humor which I look at situations that occur on the field and take them to their illogical conclusion. I umpire in Southern California so the weather is always great for a game. I have tried my hand at travel ball but I didn't really care for it and decided that Little League is the place for me. I am always striving to be a better umpire, looking for ways to become better each game. I usually pick one area to work on extensively from year to year. In past years, I have worked on plate mechanics, crisper basic 6 mechanics, and strike zone. This year, I have decided that I will be working on my footwork to make it more fluid and look less like I'm trying to catch up to something. I do have a twitter account that I use during the baseball season, especially during the Little League World Series and the MLB playoffs, to make ludicrous statements that I really don't believe but think would be funny or poignant when the situation deems the statement needs to be made. I don't like making kids cry; I don't like ejecting coaches; I don't like belittling parents. My Evil Umpire persona loves these things though. I look forward to being part of the community and learning whatever I can to do the game I love justice.
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