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With the season winding down (at least up here in the North, where the other great slayer of baseball is awakening â€“ football), I was struck with a musing... How would you prepare for the final game of the year? So, I'll present to you the survey question: The age/skill level is irrelevant. This is the final "game in town" in your hometown. _Everyone_ who's anyone is going to be there. It will probably be televised, too (at least on local channels... don't get ahead of yourself). As the resident Umpire and Baseball Aficionado, you have been asked by the local (VFW, Kiwanis, Key Club, Lions, 4H, whatever) organizers what sort of things you'd like to see instituted into the game and the festivities surrounding it. You've been also given a "gear allowance" to buy whatever gear you need as The Plate Umpire. Alright, I'll start... ------------------------- - I'd like the game to be slated to start at 7:05 PM. Beforehand, arrange to have one of the recent War Veterans throw out the ceremonial first pitch, along with someone the community identifies of note (illness-challenged youth, foundation award winner, etc.). - The game will be 7 innings in length, with a 5th inning stretch (or 9 innings, if the community organizers feel they can handle a game that long). - I'd have someone request the wonderful old guy/gal who plays the organ in the local church to come down and "play the (electric) pipes" on a synthesizer we have hooked into the PA-sound system. They would be at liberty to insert whatever filler music they'd like. - There would be a PA announcer, preferably with a voice like Garrison Keillor, Morgan Freeman, John Hurt, or David McCullough. Even-keeled, narrator-esque, not hyped like at a wrestling event. - I would heavily advocate for OBR, with only a "Continuous Batting Order" modification _considered_. - 4-umpire crew, of course. - I would get a Force3 Unequal Chest Protector, and probably Force3 SG's (or Champros), with highly-polished plate shoes, of course. It would be a Nike Titanium mask with tan TW's (or a black Nike NRS mask with tan TW's) to top it off, because I am going to make every effort to rock a black plate coat. If it's just too hot out, then go MLB Black for shirts. - Miss "Insert Community Name" would be tapped to sing the National Anthem, accompanied by the local Barbershop Quartet (if available... although they might do the 5th/7th Inning Stretch). If Miss "Community" happened to be Carrie Underwood, there would be no objection. The local VFW post would do a complete flag presentation. - The stadium / ball field would be lit (duh, of course!... there are no time limits here). - There will be fireworks after.