Baseball fever is going around at all levels of the game. It is mid spring and players, umpires and fans from Little League to the big leagues have been out practicing, playing, calling and watching America’s favorite pastime.
My husband started umpiring for Little League when my son started playing in grade school. About a decade later, he is still at it because he has developed a love for umpiring. How can anyone develop a love for anything that is likely to involve jeering from the crowds or in your face confrontations from managers as can be seen caught on tape at many major league games? My husband’s response to that question often includes comments about personal growth and the challenge of staying focused in order to be able to take in all of the elements of play so that each call is accurate and the kids get a chance to play a fair and fun game that unfolds in an orderly fashion. He must be successful at this as he has been honored with an invite to umpire at the Little League regionals in Waco later this summer.
Evidently the answer to why someone would put so much time and effort into volunteer umpiring is of interest to the media as well. Recently, a reporter from Texas Country Reporter contacted another long time umpire, who has been rated as qualified to call at the Little League World Series, to find out what makes umpires tick. The reporter joined the weekly Saturday morning umpire breakfast and then followed my husband and his fellow umpire as they drove off to call games. The resulting story is slated to air on the weekend of May 21. The first photo in this post shows my husband after he dropped off his car after that breakfast to ride with the other umpire to that day’s games.
While I still don’t totally understand why my husband has developed such a strong case of baseball umpiring fever, I try and get out and support him at important games by being there. (Umpires really deserve their own fans too.) When I do, I like to add a bit of baseball bling to my outfit to show my support. I have designed baseball themed gathering pins that I wear as sleeve or bodice pins as seen in the second photo. These may be available through my EDCCollective shop.
No matter what level of baseball you enjoy participating in or supporting, have a great season!
Update: The Texas Country Reporter story actually ran on Sunday, August 7. Also, I posted a follow up about the 2011 Little League Southwest Regional Tournament.