Tuesday, April 24, 2012

baseball season

i started to get the first confirmations of baseball games to ump yesterday and already much of May is full of games for me to do. seriously, i think that maybe i have 5 days in May where there is absolutely nothing on the schedule to do and i expect that i'll likely fill those nights in also. baseball season is my favourite time of year. i ref football in the fall and i ref basketball in the winter and early spring but its the months from May to August that i enjoy most because i get to go out on the dusty field entering a space that expands my own personal borders as an introvert. i'm pretty good at this too. i've gotten some really good training over the years so that i've numerous Provincial AAA Championships and two Western Canadian AA Championships. you just watch a place blow up when you make a mistake though. seriously, there's nothing like an "oh, it appears i got that one wrong" moment to put all of your efforts into perspective. the intensity of baseball in a hockey culture is also an interesting thing to see. you see there are things that you CANNOT say to an umpire and there are all sorts of things that are definitely said to an official in a hockey environment so often people assume that it's fine to treat a baseball umpire like they treat their local hockey ref. i've actually had to throw PARENTS out of the park at a baseball game on two occasions. one guy was a guy who i had called a friend and he went so far over the top that i had embarrassed him by throwing him out that he didn't want anything to do with me after that. despite those stories it really is a good space for me to be in. it teaches me to be judicious, to be honest, fair and respectful of everyone around me ... even if i think they don't deserve it. i bought some equipment off of a retiring ump this year. i figure i've gotten $400 worth of stuff for $150 and now all i need to do is make sure that the chemical sensitivities of my wife aren't affected by the stuff and i also have to purge our life of the old gear that i won't be using now. i'm sure that there's a young kid out there who's just starting out in umping who will be willing to take me up on a GREAT deal for my used gear. seriously, it'll be a great deal because i want to encourage young kids to take it up and keep with it. anywho, it's my favourite time of year.

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