“You’re Killing Me, Smalls”
I know a man whose love of the game makes me look like a casual observer. Let’s call him “Ron,” mainly because that’s his name.
Ron is a friend from church who usually goes to the waaaaaay too early 8:30 AM services, but this past Sunday we crossed paths, and he told me of his latest…not adventure. I guess I don’t know what to call it.
Ron, sweet and gentle soul that he is, is somewhere in his mid 80s and a lifelong Baseball fan. Ron never misses an opportunity to go to a game – Major League, Minor League, College, Little League – it doesn’t matter. Last Saturday it was his 10 year old granddaughter’s softball game.
To get the best view of the action Ron seated himself right behind home plate. Any closer and he would have to have suited up.
His granddaughter was pitching.
Because Ron is a big fan he can sometimes be a bit vocal. That generally is not a problem. He is a very civil and polite man, but when your granddaughter is pitching – Wellllllll.
At some point in about the third inning there came a pitch right down Broadway and the umpire calls out, “Ball one!” Ron disagreed.
At this point in time things began to go downhill.
Another pitch. “Ball two!” Ron disagreed.
Both the tension on the field and the blood pressure in Ron’s arteries were rising. This may have been a 10 year olds Saturday softball game, but to Ron it was Game Seven of the World Series.
Ron had kept his feelings to himself up to this point, but a man can take only so much until the pot boils over.
I guess the umpire had a thin skin because he turned around, walked over to Ron and, using the classic umpire overly dramatic gesture, threw Ron out of the game, and for good measure, threw him out of the next game too.
That was something new – “Prophylactic Ejection.”
I’m guessing that Ron may be the first 80-something year old man ever to be thrown out of a Girls Softball Game. I’ll check with Cooperstown on that.
When Ron told me this story I sensed that he was somewhat embarrassed, but also somewhat proud. I think that he understood the possible historic significance of it all. I bet Tommy Lasorda never got tossed out of a game like that.
Ron told me that, after the game, he found the umpire and apologized, explaining that it was his granddaughter on the mound. The ump accepted Ron’s apology, but didn’t lift the suspension.
Ron just nodded and walked away. Me? I would have kicked his guide dog and broken his white cane.