I had a little bit of everything this weekend, with a lot of what makes it fun to be an umpire. I had two big field games, on the bases, with no issues. Not particularily well-played or interesting games, but I didn’t screw anything up and nobody yelled at me. I also had two small field little-kid games that were both a lot of fun.
On Saturday, I had a Cal Ripken tournament game, u-10 level, that turned out to be a section (or something) final. I’m not sure who the teams were (it was the District 10 tournament – maybe Hillsborough against Branchburg), but it was a great game. We worked 3-man, since it was a big game. As silly as it seems to have three big umps on that little field, its a great system – you are 10 feet away from everything! It started out looking like we would get out of there early – the 1st 5 innings went quickly. The visitor tied it in the 5th, and the next 4 innings were the most entertaining few innings I’ve had in a long time. Both teams (and these are 10’s, remember) made play after play after play, with kids diving for line drives in the infield, making shoestring catches at full speed…in the bottom of the 7th, a kid on Hillsborough (maybe) hit a high fly to the fence that the Branchburg (maybe) centerfielder casually stuck his glove out, over the fence, and took away the home run. I said “wow” like 15 times in the game, before the home team won in the bottom of the 9th. And it was the final! Really exciting. Other than being a little hot, it was as nice a weekend that I’ve had on the field in a long time.