Read this blog from the "bottom up." Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click "older posts." Repeat that task for page 2. When you get to the bottom of page 3, you will start the first blog. There are 21 blog posts total.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


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.  

Add Here I am trying to get my suitcase full of umpire gear into the car.  I got soaked "big time."




















 

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.

Vicky, John, Dan, and Jenice.

John Vicky Cindy, Dan (notice my soaked shirt from the rain)


FINAL THOUGHTS...........

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."

Dan Campagnolo
Little League World Series Umpire 2012

























Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday  August 25  11:46 pm

It's been a great day.  




The Challenger game was awesome.  Watching those kids having so much fun...I tell ya....it puts tears in your eyes.   A wonderful experience for the kids, buddies, volunteers, and us umpires.
All the Challenger players war honored at the ceremony before the game.






My game (International Championship between Latin America and Japan) was a well played game.  It appears Japan's pitching and offense was better, and the final score showed that.  My hat's off to the Latin America team, they worked very hard to get to the International Championship.


I watched the U.S. Championship from the stands.  Wow...what a show of offense.  Final score looked like a football game score.  The West was down by 10 runs (15 - 5) going to their last at bat...and they score 10 to tie it for extra innings! (15 - 15).  Then Tennessee answers back with 9 more runs in the 7th.  I'll bet all the nail salons are booked for tomorrow as I'm sure all those Little League Moms bit their fingernails down to the nubs.  Anyway, Tennessee wins it and goes to the Final Championship tomorrow.  The West team has a lot of "heart" ....they showed that on the field.


Final score.  Bottom of the 6th (West) is a 10, not a 0.



Schedule for tomorrow, Sunday,  Final Games:

Consolation Game   West vs Latin America  
11:00 am EST (8:00 am your time)  ESPN

Plate   Martin Weber     (Germany)
1st       Bruce Dinkel     (New Mexico)
2nd     Robbie Guest    (Georgia)
3rd      Marty Jones      (West Virginia)
LF      Dale Blevins      (Virginia)
RF     Juan Garza        (Texas)









World Series Championship Game  South East vs Japan
3:00 pm EST (12:00 noon your time)  ABC and ESPN 3D

Plate   Dan Campagnolo   (California)
1st       Darrin Besescheck  (Connecticut)
2nd     Jose Chaparro   (Puerto Rico)
3rd      Chet Cooper  (Ohio)
LF       Tony Cooper  (California)
RF      Terry Stansberry  (Texas)


That's right...you read it correctly...I'm doing the plate at the final Championship game.
This is a dream come true!

Be sure to tune in.



Dan

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Morning, August 24

Umpire meeting was held at 9:00 am for schedule distribution for Saturday's Championship games.  No schedule yet for the Final Championship or Consolation game on Sunday.  That will probably be available late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Friday is a "day off" for everybody.  Although I'm attending an World Series Umpire Alumni luncheon at 1:00.  Then a West Region Dinner at 5:30.

Saturday morning I plan to participate in the Challenger Division Exhibition Game.  The Challenger Division was established in 1989, as a separate division of Little League that enables boys and girls with physical and development challenges to enjoy the game of baseball.  It might be televised on Comcast.  Not sure.  It will be carried live on the internet worldwide at www.ESPN3.com   Game time is Saturday, 10:30 am EST.  If you watch it, have a box of Kleenex close by, as you will be touched by this event.

I'm very excited and honored as I received the plate assignment for the International Championship game, and I have an excellent crew working with me.  

Saturday  12:30 pm EST (9:30 am your time)
International Championship game (televised on ABC or ESPN 3D)
Japan vs Latin America (Panama)

Plate     Dan Campagnolo  (California)
1st         Bruce Dinkel          (New Mexico)
2nd       Torben Begines     (Idaho)
3rd        Tony Cooper          (California)
LF         Robbie Guest         (Georgia)
RF        Juan Garza             (Texas)



And don't forget to watch this one also....

Saturday   3:30 pm EST (12:30 pm your time)
U.S.  Championship game (televised on ABC or ESPN 3D)
Southeast (Tennessee) vs West (Petaluma, CA)

Plate    Jose Chaparro          (Puerto Rico)
1st        Darrin Besescheck  (Connecticut)
2nd      Jesse Howard           (Iowa)
3rd       George Luff II       (Delaware)
LF        Terry Stansberry       (Texas)
RF       John Mitchell             (Canada)


Here are some photos from yesterday......


Typical crowd at a game yesterday, about 15,000.

Here I am at the plate meeting shaking hands with the coach from Mexico.


CA 12 District Administrator Jenice Condie "mooshing" with her friends before a game.







Me "mooshing" with World Series Umpires from previous years.

Here I am with my buddies umpire extraordinaries John and Howard.

In the late evening we are invited to a Hospitality Room sponsored by the Little League World Series Umpire Association for some snacks and a keg of "soda pop."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday, August 23.

Two more well played games today.  I did 2nd base at the International Semi final.

Final teams left.....For Saturday:


Latin America vs Japan for International Championship   12:30  EST

West vs South East for US Championship   3:30  EST


For Sunday:

Consolation game    11:00  EST

Final Championship game   3:00  EST

We are having a meeting tomorrow morning to get our schedules.  I'll let you know.  Any time the West team is playing a game, the 3 West Region Umpires can not do that game.  I'm a West Region umpire, so that will influence my schedule.  We'll see.

Went to an awards breakfast this morning.  About 250 people.  "Anybody who is anybody" in Little League Baseball was there.

Tomorrow is an off day......but I do have a meeting at 9:00 am, a luncheon at 1:00, and a Dinner at 5:30.

They are keeping us busy !

Dan

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday, August 22

Two very good games today.  I didn't have much action on the LF line.  Just a couple of routine calls.

Tomorrow (Thursday, August 23)  Mexico is playing Latin America
I'll be at 2nd base.  Time of game is 4:00 EST so that means 1:00 PST.

The West team plays on Thursday also.  That game is 8:00 EST (5:00 your time).  It will be West vs South East as South West (Texas) lost tonight in a very well played close game.  It was exciting to watch.  It is amazing the size of the crowds at these games.  Tonight was around 16,000.




If the West wins tomorrow night that will affect my assignments in the final games as I can not umpire their games (I'm a West Region umpire).  We'll see how it pans out.

Off of 4th street is this "cul-de-sac" formed by 3 large buildings.  There was a beautiful mural on each building.  Here are a few pictures.
















Cindy next to some baseball players painted on the mural wall






Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday, August 21

Had a good game today.  Caribbean vs Mexico.  The six man crew did a great job.  I had 1st base.  1st base seems to be the "challenge spot" lately.  I had two whackers.  First one was "safe"...close but no challenge.....must be getting some respect around here.  Second one was reeeaaally close.  I banged it.  Sure enough, it was challenged.  So much for the respect.  Gets a little lonely out there when they are reviewing the play...you figure all the cameras are on you.  Then the result....he's still out.  Your confidence goes up about 10 points when that happens, and back to work you go.  It's a little after midnight and I'm watching ESPN right now, and I see the play.  It made #4 on ESPN's top 10 today!



I watched the MEA (Middle East Africa...Uganda) vs NorthWest today.  The Uganda team won the game by one run.  Little League history was made today with that team.  That team has stole the hearts of many.  They are such nice kids...and their Coach is one class guy. Hope they come back next year.

Tomorrow, there are just two games.  I'll be working the Left Field line in the 4:00 EST game.  That would be 1:00 PST.  It will be Latin America vs Japan, ESPN.


My son Greg scored with pictures today.  He was having a great time "schmozzing" with the celebrities.  Take a look.
Greg with Orel Hershiser
                                                                        


Greg with Nomar Garciaparra






Greg with ESPN commentator Jenn Brown



Dan Greg and Cindy.























Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday, August 20

My family came over for breakfast (both sons and grandson Justise).  We went back to the old "Original" Little League field as I wanted my oldest son, Greg to see it.  We had fun talking to those old guys again...more great stories.  At the original snack shack at the original field is a display of pins.  I donated one of my umpire pins and the guy hung it up with the others.  Can you find it?  Where's Waldo?





I had the RF line on my first game today (Canada vs Caribbean).  There was a rain delay, and the tarp was applied over the infield.  When the rain stopped, those group crews really worked hard to get the field back to pristine condition.  There has been quite a few home runs today and our game a had a couple of dingers.  Hope you saw my home run mechanic...little different from everyone else's.


My second game was Taiwan vs Mexico.  There was some close plays and the coaches were "challenging" them.  Recent Little League rules let a coach challenge some calls, and they check it on slow motion replay at various angles.  The philosophy is "Let's use technology to help get the call right."  If the coach "loses" 2 challenges in a game, he can't challenge any more.  It was a very well played game.  I see many friends in the stands.  Howard Dickson usually says hello every day from the stands.  Raymy Brown flew in today. Jaime Perez flew in from his Senior World Series (it's over now) to watch me.  John Hoppin has been here since the start.  It is great that they (and spouses) are here to enjoy this excitement and support me.


After my second game we all got together for a great meal at this little "hole in the wall" Italian restaurant.  It's called Franco's.  Absolutely great food at very reasonable prices.   It is great to share a meal with my family and friends.





We get our umpire schedules daily at the end of the last game of the day.  The coordinators are doing a great job making sure the schedules are correct (you can't umpire in a game where your region is playing)

Only 3 games tomorrow.  16 umpires for 18 umpire slots.

My schedule for Tuesday, August 21

GAME 21   CARIBBEAN vs MEXICO  4:00 EST (1:00 pm your time)  1st base.

Tune in if you can.  

Dan





Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday, Aug 19

Did two games today.  First game was Canada vs Latin America and I had 1st base.  Had two bang bang "whacker" calls and I am confident I got em.  One of them was really, really close.  I don't get slow motion replay with five angles, but if you saw something different, let me know.

Second game (Southwest vs Great Lakes) I had the LF line.  Not much action in left field that game.

My son Greg flew in today, so now my entire family is here (Cindy, Greg, Scott, myself...and my grandson Justise).  

Cindy and I went to a fancy breakfast this morning at a country club.   Very nice.


Here is a view of the Country Club from the outside.


Watched the evening game today Japan vs Asia Pacific.  Great game.  Score Zero - Zero through 8 1/2 innings.  A real pitcher's duel.  30 combined strikeouts.  Bottom of the 9th with one runner on base, batter from Japan (in the 9th batting position) jacks a walk off home run....great game.

Games for tomorrow  Monday, August 20

11:00 am (your time)   ESPN       CANADA vs CARIBBEAN.  I have the RF line.

3:00 pm (your time)     ESPN2     ASIA PACIFIC (I think)  vs MEXICO.  I have 3rd base.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday, August 18

Did 2nd base today.  Not a lot of action at that base today, but the few calls I had, I got em right with correct mechanics.

It appears we will be getting our umpire schedules daily.

My games for Sunday, August 19

9:00 (your time)  Canada vs Latin America   1ST  BASE  ESPN 2

2:00 (your time)  Southwest vs Great Lakes    LF Line     ESPN


My son Scott and Justise (my grandson) arrived yesterday and accompanied us.  Justise is getting excited about baseball pin trading.

The four of us (Scott, Justise, Cindy and myself) visited the original Little League World Series ball field earlier today.  Carl Stoltz (the founder of Little League) built that field and they used it for the first 12 Little League World Series (1947-1958).  Some real interesting stuff there.  There was a half dozen old "codgers" there telling stories of the early days, what there uniforms looked like, catcher's equipment, etc.  These guys had a wealth of knowledge of the early days of Little League.  I really enjoyed talking with them.








These old guys had a wealth of knowledge of the history of Little League Baseball


Here I am watching a game and clowning around with "Dugout"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday.

Did two games today.

3:00 (EST) game was Mid-Atlantic vs Southwest.  I had the right field line.  And I had 5 calls! There was a home run in right/center so that was my call.  Hope you were lucky enough to see my home run mechanic....little different, but pretty cool.  Also had a double over the fence, catch, no catch, and a foul ball call about 1 1/2 feet foul near the home run fence into the outfield area.  The 6 man crew worked very well together.  Somewhere at mid-game the rain started to fall.  Came down pretty hard, but the field held up well and we got the complete game in.

8:00 pm game....Great Lakes vs Northwest.  A very well played game played by both teams.  I had 3rd base.  Had a screamer down the line over the bag for a "fair mechanic."  Also had two extremely close plays at third.

Got our schedule for tomorrow only this evening.


Tomorrow, Saturday, I will be at Lamade stadium doing the 3:00 EST game.  I have 2nd base.  It is going to be on ESPN and ABC.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday, August 16.
View of the stands during opening ceremony.

Opening day.  They had a very well organized opening day ceremony.  All the teams lined up on the field.  16 teams from all over the world in different color uniforms.  Very colorful, very exciting.
Players lining up in the tunnel under the stands ready to line up in the ceremony.
Little League pledge spoken in many languages.
Wade Boggs throws out the first pitch.






Opening game.  I'm at the plate working with a six man crew.  Japan vs Caribbean.  7,300 people in the stands.  Japan wins 7-0, but that score doesn't tell the whole story.   Both teams played very well.  The pitching was excellent.  They were throwing fastballs, curves, sliders, and change ups.  The Japanese pitcher was throwing 75-78 mph which converts (on the small field / big field conversion table) to about 105 mph reaction time.  I'm glad that team had a good catcher !


Plate meeting with the Manager, Coach and interpreter.
This shot was taken off Michael T's. TV,  Bottom caption (Braves vs Padres )  is not part of my game.
This view shows my best side....you agree?


My crew did a great job.  Let me tell you......Words can't describe the feeling I had as the plate guy for the opening game at the Little League World Series.  After the first pitch (strike, of course), all the nervousness went away and I was able to get down to business and have a lot of fun.  This Series is so well organized, I can hardly believe it. I am still pinching myself !

Saw this on a bill board sign on the way back to the hotel.  That was my game !



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday, August 15

Lots of meetings this morning with Little League staff.  We received our ID cards (permanent pass), parking pass, tickets to the games for family, and two umpire hats.  Went over some game procedures.  Explained to us how and why they use video replay that may change a call.  It was explained to us in a positive fashion, as Little League wants to make sure we get the call right.

From the main conference room at the Little League headquarters is an absolutely beautiful view of the two main fields and the practice fields.  Everything I've seen on TV in the past is right there in from of my eyes.  It is awesome !  Can't wait to get on that field.

This afternoon all the umpires will be part of the annual Little League World Series parade. We will be wearing our uniforms (light blue shirts).  It is a huge parade, lasts a few hours.  In downtown Williamsport you can see chairs lined up (saving spots) along the route.  People just leave their personal fold up type chair on the sidewalk on the parade route.  Some were there last night.  People respect the fact it is somebody else's chair and that is their spot.

We got our schedule for the first 2 days.  Remember two paragraphs up I said I can't wait to get on the field?  Well, I have the first game of the Series and I got the plate.  I consider that an honor.  I'll be setting the "standard."


GAME 1    Japan vs Caribbean
Thursday, August 16  1:00 pm EST (that would probably be 10:00 am PST) PLATE UMPIRE

GAME 6   Mid-Atlantic vs Southwest
Friday, August 17,  3:00 pm EST (12:00 noon PST)   RIGHT FIELD LINE UMPIRE

GAME 8   Great Lakes vs Northwest
Friday, August 17, 8:00 pm EST (5:00 pm PST)   THIRD BASE UMPIRE

REQUEST...Will somebody Pleeeeeease tape/DVR Game 1.  Then we gotta find a way to get it to a DVD,

Thanks,
Dan

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday, late afternoon  August 14

Arrived at the Hampton Inn in Williamsport.  We have a nice room, with a fridge and microwave and a view of the river.  All the umpires met in the lobby before the "meeting."  It's a great group, no big egos here...we just want to have fun.  We exchanged some gifts (pins, hats, t-shirts, duffle bags, and other goodies).  It was like Christmas in August!  Sat down, had a nice meal (most of our wives were there), and told stories.

At 7:00 we were off to a meeting at the Little League Museum, located next to the Little League headquarters.  The meeting involved all the umpires, and all 16 team coaches and managers.  It included speeches from Little League dignitaries including an inspirational speech by CEO Steven Keener, and other informational talks by the tournament coordinators and ESPN.  

When that was over they got us together to let us know what's happening tomorrow.  Looks like a meeting at the Headquarters at 9:00 am, picture taking, and a 2 1/2 hour parade through a section of Williamsport.  During or after the 9:00 am meeting we will get our schedules for the first few games.  I'll post them on this blog tomorrow evening.  They did tell us that we can not get any tapes or DVDs of the games, so if you are reading this, and you know how to record them on your DVR and convert them to a DVD...I would really appreciate your help.
Tuesday Morning, August 14

Packed up the car and took off to Williamsport around 9:00 am.  Speed limits are slower in this part of the country.  Highways are usually 45 mph or 55 mph, with a few spots at 65 mph.

Anyway....I'm going on a posted 55 mph stretch.  Probably going about 62 mph.  That's OK...right?  NOT !!!!   On the 55 mph stretch, the slope starts downhill, so I'm coasting.  In the middle of the downhill is a 45 mph speed limit sign, and at the bottom of the hill...you guest it ...is a state patrolman.




I see him, slow down a bit, and as I passed him, I look in my rear view mirror.  He casually gets in his cruiser and within 30 seconds, I see the flashing lights.  I ask with a respectful voice, "Hi officer, was I doing anything wrong?"  He says "Yes, I have you on radar going 63 in a 45."  He asked for my driver's license and insurance, and I tell him that I just got this rental car, and I am not familiar with the territory.  I told him I need to figure out how this cruise control works.  He asks me if I am a good driver in California, and of course I responded "Yes I am, sir."  He takes my driver's license to his patrol car, does some computer stuff and returns.  'Well, I'm going to give you a break, we'll call this a warning."  He asked me where I am headed, and I told him "I'm off to Williamsport, I'm an umpire for the Little League World Series."  He said he grew up in that area, and always watches the tournament on TV.  I gave him one of my personal umpire pins and he thanked me, I shook his hand , and off I went.



Sunday, August 12

For some reason, the jet lag caught up to me.  Here is what I did on Monday.


Here I am catching up on my sleep on my sister's couch.





















Monday, August 13

Picked up my rental car.  Getting ready for the drive to Williamsport tomorrow.