August 26, Sunday
Big day. As our Umpire "Uncle" Frank would say...."This is huuuuge." World Series Championship Game, and I have the honor of the plate assignment. And I have a great crew working with me.
|Managers and Coaches shaking hands with my crew at the plate meeting.|
Before the game I was outside the umpire's locker room and spotted Bill Bair (one of the old codgers ......and I say that affectionately) that I met twice at the Original Little League Field. He was the batting champion of the 1939 team. I told him I was doing the plate and he was excited for me. He is a great guy, has all of the stories, and loves to tell you about them.
We watched the first game, the consolation game between the West and Latin America. I had to leave early, to get a bite to eat and report to the locker room. Cindy gave me a "good luck" kiss.
In a ceremony before the Championship game, they honored the Uganda team as the team with the best "sportsmanship." They deserved that award "big time" as those kids exhibited the utmost in sportsmanship and desire while maintaining humbleness. Their Coach was "one class act." Absolutely a great guy. I wanted to get a Uganda T-shirt, but they sold out real early in the tournament.
The crowd size at the final game was announced at 24,293....not bad for a Little League game. The total crowd count for the entire tournament (many days had multiple games) was pegged at 366,261.
|Parents of the Tennessee team.|
Although the Tennessee team was a great team, Japan won the game with the 10 run rule at the end of 5 innings. Japan's pitching, offense, and defense was arguably, the best of the 16 teams.
After the game Cindy and I walked down to the photo tent to order some photos. Then the storm came in...and boy....it really came down hard. I'm glad it didn't happen during the game, as it was flooding the place.
When I got back to the hotel, there was a party going on. Food and beverages.
Here I am sitting with my friends enjoying time with my friends.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. I've actually enjoyed writing it.
It is impossible to put in to words the feelings I have being a Little League World Series umpire. This place is "magical." You have to be here to understand what I'm getting at. There are hundreds of volunteers that make this happen, with quality people making decisions at the helm. Little League Baseball, the largest youth sports organization in the world, is in very good hands. I want to say "thank you" to my umpire crew members, umpire coordinators, and all the people who run Little League International for making this experience a dream come true. I started this series with the plate assignment for Game 1, and ended this series with the plate at the final Championship game. Memories of those games, and everything in between....I will never forget. I have experienced "The Road to Williamsport....the umpire's "Golden Summer."
Little League World Series Umpire 2012