Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fun At Ye Ole Ballpark

When you feel the constant pressure of umpiring Division 1, 2 and 3 NCAA Softball its great to squeeze in a local high school game once in a while. Recently I had a game featuring two local private schools. It was a lower level league as private schools go, so the main ingredient was having fun and not taking things too seriously.

There were plenty of fans in attendance, parking their BMW's and Mercedes near the field so as not to have too far to walk with their picnic baskets. Several showed up in golf carts (I don't know where they came from).

So the game began on a beautiful field of grass (legitimate softball fields have dirt infields). I didn't mind the grass as I didn't have to eat dust for 7 innings as I usually do and the players didn't get too mussed.

The 1st inning set the tone for the rest of the game. The home team allowed 1 run on 3 errors. The visitors then took the field and allowed 7 runs on 6 errors. The fans in their khaki shorts and pink button-down Ralph Lauren Polo shirts were just mildly irritated, which may have been caused by the sun hiding behind the clouds for a few minutes.

Later in the game one of the home team players informed her coach that she had to leave at 5pm for piano lessons. There was a mad rush to readjust the line-up. One of the visitors who had never played softball before took 3 pitches for strikes but refused to leave home plate. She assured my partner behind the plate that her girlfriend told her you get 4 strikes in this game. The home plate umpire disagreed and retired her to the bench.

A runner going to 2nd base with 1 out heard me yell "Out" on a play at 1st and thought I was talking about her, so she started to walk off the field until her coach yelled at her to return to 2nd base. Later a routine fly ball hit to the outfield was misjudged by the fielder, thrown to a cut-off who missed the ball, then when the pitcher finally came up with the ball she threw it over the catcher's head in dead ball territory. I believe several runs scored on this play.

All told there were 22 runs scored and 23 wild pitches thrown. I lost count of the errors. We had a lot of fun at Ye Ole Ballpark today. More fun than the 1-8 Orioles, even though the ability levels seem comparable!!

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