Way back when I was young, one of my first jobs was as an umpire. A great little job to ease me into the working world… sort of. Anyways, I came to one of the games as usual and met with the other two umpires. One of them was a friend of mine and the other I worked with before. Both these guys were doing this job longer than me. Remember that cause it’ll be important later. So, in most situations the most senior of the umpires is supposed to go behind home plate. However, neither of them wanted to do it. I, who wants to get the job done, volunteered for the duty.
I’d say we were halfway through the game. Dust in the air, people cheering, and a general sense of enjoyment by all. Nobody showed ill will towards anyone, but enjoyed the game as they should. Keep in mind these were little kids playing. One came stumbling over to the plate. I was minorly concerned the kid would hit himself as he tried to take practice swings! The coach came over to steady and reteach him. A nod of assurance led the batter to the plate. I readied myself to watch as the pitcher wound up. The ball came down the plate and WHAM!
My helmet vibrated and eyes went blurry for a moment. I steadied my legs as I tried not to fall forward on the catcher. An audible “Ooo” of sympathy rolled through the crowd… only broken by my word calling “Time!” The back of my head was throbbing for the batter had hit me in the back of the head. I walked off the field trying to steady myself. I stumbled a bit while groaning and growling from the pain. Rubbing the back of my head, I made sure there was no blood. A parade of people came to check on me. First was the two coaches who patted me on the back for taking the hit. The head of the umpire association (My boss) was the next to show up. Seeming a bit more worried than the rest and offered to give me free food for the rest of the week. Finally, my fellow umpires came to check on me. Knowing I was fine at this point, they were giggling to themselves. I asked them what was so funny? They responded that both of them didn’t want the home plate duty for they were worried about getting hit by the ball… but now they were afraid of bats!