My perspective comes from behind the catcher. Calling balls and strikes. Taking in the thrill of all the chaos and arbitrating to my best ability at the moment. Friends yelling, parents pleading, coaches staring, players participating. At best, a fragile existence.
Recently in my work life at Acura of Lynnwood (www.acuraoflynnwood.com), I was able to work w/ a wonderful young man, Sean Meehan. Sean is from Centralia and plays baseball at the University of Washington. Check him out at: http://www.gohuskies.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/meehan_sean00.html We discussed the value of BMW’s and my work as an umpire. We parted saying “see you at fall ball, lets keep in touch as I get new cars all the time”.
Ok, now why this blog and its premise. My primary passion is baseball. But really, baseball and the youth. I love the game as played by young men. College, high school, summer select. It is all good when the youth are involved. Such a thrill to compete so as to do my job and let the kids play the game unobstructed. Hopefully this will always come through this blog uninhibited.
Recently, I had the opportunity to work w/ the UW for the purple/ gold series. Grabbed the plate or as my partners encouraged, you got it. Super, as it has been a month since the last game. Hopefully, I can carry the cargo.
Yes, I got to see some wonderful pitching. This is Pac 10 baseball. I expected excellence and found it in spades. Quality 1 through 25. Well, the pleasure of the plate. Lots of squats and 93 mph from a tall righthander. Some “how did he do that” pitches from a young man who throws downunder/ sidesaddle/something. Mr. Clem, you know who you are. Hope you have a good year. Trying to pick that ball up when it is unlike anything I normally see. And w/ movement. Dude, that is sick! Good luck to the batters.
Back to Sean, great kid! Gives me a smile when he comes to at bat. Thinking, yep this is me. Told you I would see you at the diamond. Gotta focus as it is not about me or a BMW coupe, but about the pitcher, catcher and Sean. Ball is hit hard but it is caught at the warning track. Dang, that would have been a good story but not quite, this time.
Wind is blowing out, nice day but maybe 15mph. Several hard hit balls not coming back. Except one. Can’t remember the batter, but hit hard to the opposite field. Another dinger, probably. I am thinking, get a ball ready for the pitcher, watch the touch at third/ home. Except, except for an athlete tracking the ball in right field. Back, back and back still. At the wall w/ a leap and reaches over the wall (Sean was that wall 10ft?) and brings the sure home run back into play. In one swift motion, throw back to first for an attempted double play.
Holy schmolies, wow, what a play. Didn’t expect it and didn’t carry out my rotations as prescribed. Shoot too late. Too busy thinking “how did he do that”? What a pleasure. Superb young athletes and young men. Who said, the youth is wasted on the youth. Baseball and youth. The glove fits. Wear it well Sean. Totally amazing. So here is another perspective. From home plate. Good luck Sean and UW.