Baseball Umpires’ Learning Blog

Our Place to Share the Game

Naked Gun Umpire Dance

Now, here’s an old clip from the Naked Gun movie from many years ago. I first saw this sometime during my years in the Double A Texas League. Anyone who likes or hates umpires should enjoy this video. He lacks some basic mechanics skills, but he makes up for it in showmanship.

This video brings back some fond memories of my years (1984-86) working for Carl Sawatski, Texas League President for many years. I was called up from the Single A Midwest League in the summer of 1984 and flew into San Antonio to work the AA Dodgers. Sandy Koufax was in the Dodger dugout. We shared something special–a love for the great state of Maine and, of course, workng our trades in the minor leagues. In the Texas League we would somtimes have to drive 10 hours from Jackson, Mississippi to El Paso, Texas after a night game. Jackson is famous for its warm temperatures and extremely high humidity. El Paso was the most fun on 10 cent hot dog nights when hundreds of Mexican citizens would cross the bridge for the evening games. The El Paso Diablo general manager always wanted us to start the game late to give more time for people to get through the border crossing. I doubt it is possible to simply walk across the border any longer.

I do recall working the plate on a drizzly night in El Paso while Ozzy Osborne was singing “White Wedding” in the local armory just over the left field fence. A little more rain and I would have had an even more memorable night that summer. Funny what we remember from our years on the road. Enough reminiscing, check out the video. This umpire performance would have gone over great on “10 cent Hot Dog Night” in El Paso.

For those of you for whom I continue to challenge your technology skills, this may be another new step for you. Just click anywhere on the link below to have the video load and play for you. It doesn’t save the video to your computer or put you at any risk. Turn on your speakers and watch closely to find a few moves that you can add to your plate job repertoire. LOL

Naked Gun Umpire Dance–Google Video

July 7, 2007 Posted by | Baseball Bits, Commentary, Photo & Video | , | Leave a comment

Holiday Challenge–Multiple parts

Happy 4th! Unless you umpire professional baseball, you should have today off! I hope you get to spend time with family or do something special whether or not it includes baseball.

First of all check out the following picture. Does it make your mind spin envisioning all the things that must be processed by the base umpire? How well could he see the front edge of first base with the first baseman stretching toward home plate? What other evidence will an umpire use to help him make a close call like this one if he cannot see the leading edge of first base? Will there be contact? Who is at fault? Can you go to your partner, the plate umpire, for help on the potential interference/obstruction?

Stretch at First

Challenge #A

Now that I have you thinking, the challenge is for you to:

  1. write a script that would go with the video replay. You can write it from the umpires perspective or as a passionate baseball fan.
  2. describe the play at first base and share why an umpire must really be alert to the many possible decisions that can become part of this play.
  3. cover one or more of the rules that could come into consideration as this play unfolds.


Challenge #B

Write the script for either of the pictures below. Once again, I encourage you to be creative and have some fun with these. You know, I ought to find a sponsor to give out prizes for talent shared here. What an idea! Maybe the Taz man from down to Honig’s!?!

Play at Home Loose at 2nd Base

                                    “Play at Home”                                 “Ball in Dust”



July 4, 2007 Posted by | Baseball Bits, Commentary, Photo & Video, Rules, Sharing Game Situations | Leave a comment

EMBUA Photos Available for Download

It wasn’t easy, but I have finally uploaded a large number of the umpire photos that I took at Hermon High School baseball games this spring of 2007. Most of the pictures were taken at my son’s JV games, but there are also some taken at Hermon varsity games.

You can see these photos at You can click on the “Umpire Photo” set so you don’t have to sort through some of our personal photos.

At this point there are 143 photos. They can be seen and downloaded free of charge. I know that many umpires never get to see good quality pictures of themselves. The camera takes 8 megapixel pictures and you can save them to you own computer, order copies of the pictures that you want right on the website, send them to your favorite photo finisher to make prints for you (4 x 6 or even posters), and/or burn them to a CD and then take them to Wal-Mart or Sam’s Clubs where you can even do some editing before requesting prints.

June 5, 2007 Posted by | Photo & Video | 2 Comments