Umpiring

March 20, 2013
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The other day I passed the softball diamond at Oldenburg and it brought back memories of umpiring softball games with Bob Magnuson for the young girls’ league. When they started this league, they had girls playing from as young as the second or third grade through the eighth grade. The unusual part of this was they were on the same team in the same league, so you might have a girl nearing her 15th birthday hitting a softball at a young girl who might just be 8 or 9. This scared me more than getting hit with a thrown bat since we umpired with only a mask and no other equipment. I umpired first because my daughter was playing, and later because they couldn’t find anyone else. Finally, arthritis made this impossible. There were a lot of fun memories like seeing a girl playing left field throw a runner out at first base on a ground ball or the occasional sight of seeing two or three young girls all standing on the same base. This job required patience because besides umpiring you had to help teach the younger players all the rules and not get upset when the game seemed to drag because of this. To think that some of these young girls now have their own daughters playing a game makes me realize that I am getting older. The fun part of it all was that this league (at least during the years Bob & I umpired) seemed to have coaches with patience also. I don’t remember ever having any disputes that even came close to heated words. The usual problems we had were, again, dealing with some of the finer rules that we as umpires knew but few of the young players were aware of until we made such a call.

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