Ump gets final word
Special to The Union
More than 7,000 leagues all over the world start out hoping to get to Williamsport and the Little League World Series, but only 16 of them made it.
As I told the managers at the plate meeting, they need to keep it in perspective that they are one of four teams that beat out more than 7,000 others to get the consolation game.
And the six umpires on the game were selected over the thousands that apply for the right to umpire this tournament. For that, all involved in the game were very proud.
Too bad the consolation game was a rout by the Taiwan team over the team from Texas, but that is the way it goes.
For me I had a blast. Yes, I did have a coach challenge, which I lost. But please take note that in all other games that do not have the advantage of video replay I was correct in my call. The coach even apologized to me while we were on the air, but as I pointed out to him he was doing it within the rules that we were playing under and I had no problems with it.
As a side note, the replay official came to me after the game and told me that in all other games with the same call I had it right. It took stop-action, freeze-frame technology to see that I was wrong.
No big deal, but it did take me a couple of pitches to get it out of my mind.
Did you see the Taiwanese players tip their hat to me each time they came to the plate and the pitcher take his hat off each time I threw a new ball to him? I think we should institute that in American baseball. It was a rush for me and took a few players for me to get used to it and for me to tip the top of my mask back at them.
I think this type of culture was why the Japanese team was voted the “Best Sportsmanship Award.”
Did you notice that most of the Japanese players and many of the Taiwan players yelled right before they were ready to receive a pitch? There was a Texas player who did the same thing. Maybe he saw that these other teams that did this hit the ball a lot better than he did and he figured what was good for them might work for him. Very cute.
The Japanese parents were staying in the same hotel as me and had a championship celebration party after their game tonight in the hotel. They had beer, sushi, some very good liquor and other food but none of it was touched until the manager of the victorious Japanese team arrived to celebrate with them.
Their culture is very different than ours. As soon as the first beer showed up for us tonight, we were into it and did not wait for anyone.
Some of you have asked for pictures of me, but I have chosen to show more of what the tournament is all about instead of what I have done.
So here you go with a few of me from the final game I umpired in the tournament, as well as one final picture of this outstanding place that I have been able to spend the last 10 days living the dream of a lifetime.
So long from Williamsport. I hope you have enjoyed the ride with me as I have had in sharing it with you.
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The 2021 High School Optimist All Star teams for baseball, softball and boys volleyball have been announced, and several local student-athletes made the cut.