I have been umpiring little league baseball and softball ever since I was old enough to be allowed. I got licensed a couple of years ago for the IHSA to do High School and Jr. High games during the school year. I love the game and consider myself to be a good official. As much as everyone prefers to be on the bases, I always end up behind the plate. I have a likeable strike zone that coaches tend not to complain about because I’m consistent.
I volunteered to do some games for Cornell if they needed me. The season is almost over, but they need someone for a make-up game. I was glad to do it. I decided to wear my uniform shirt, it usually evokes an amount of respect from coaches that I am not some teen trying to make a buck but I know what I’m talking about. I decided there was NO WAY I was going to wear the uniform pants though (grey slacks). I thought khaki shorts would do the trick for a summer league game.
Turns out that the game had played 1.5 innings when the rain came and they decided to pick up where they left off. We got ready to start, everything was set. The lights were on, I could smell the concessions stand and I was back on the ball-diamond. Can anything go wrong? The bottom of the 2nd (my first on the job) took forever…walked the bases loaded and gave up a grandslam. I thought to myself, “can this inning ever end? I forgot how short 6th graders are compared to high school kids.” That last thought caused me to have to squat down really far to be able to see the strike zone.
Then it happened…..I didn’t hear it, I didn’t feel it. But I looked down a pitch later and noticed that the front of my jeans ripped right along the pocket almost all the way up and down. Too late to go change…so I called the rest of the game with my pocket ripped out.. I guess it could have been worse, it could have been the butt (that would have given a shower to the fans behind the plate)…..OR I could have not been wearing any boxers….gross!
I think summer league deserves a different touch….I think jerzee shorts will be perfect!