Baseball/Softball Umpire Strange Calls

Nothing against baseball umpires.  They are Human (?)  Well sometimes.  Most of the time and as we all know to err is human.  What we have here are a few of  the calls I have seen umpires make.  These are high school umpires, and lower.

I guess the earliest incident I recall is a high school game when I was about 8 years old.  My high school was playing a county foe.  This is what happened. the visiting team had a runner stealing 2nd base.  The catcher threw the ball.  Our second baseman caught the ball.  He placed his hand between the base and the runner.  The runner slid (feet first, as that was how they slid then. I was an exception, I always slid head first.  It seemed to make more sense to me to keep going forward than to lean backward and slide). Anyway the runner slid into 2nd, his spikes went through the 2nd baseman’s glove and caused the baseman to have to have stitches.  During this the 2nd baseman still had the ball in his glove.  The call Runner safe. HOW?

Another call I saw years later, A runner stealing 2nd, again, he slid on top of the bag. the ball arrived while he was lying across the bag.  Runner out.  When I questioned the umpire about this call his reply was.  “The runners stomach came up off the base 1/4 of an inch when the tag was made.”  I guess he just had a better view than i did,

The next two happened to me, while playing softball.  I hit a grounder to shortstop.  The shortstop bobbled the ball, saw he couldn’t make the play at 2nd, threw ball to first to get me.  I was a step pass 1st when the ball reached the 1st baseman, I  did not make a turn.  He called me out.  The fans sitting near the base let him know I was safe.  I knew the umpire from many years of playing and him umpiring.  After the game and we both left the field, he came up to me and apologized, saying ” I didn’t see the play, but I had to make a call”.

The second was while I was running to home.  There was aplay attempted on me.  The rules state I either had to slide or give myself up.  (No hard contact rule to protect the player).  I chose to slide, when I did the catcher dropped the ball.  SAFE!  no I was called out for, (get this), SLIDING TOO HARD.

These others are during the past 3 years.

During a JV softball game, the home team had a girl on 1st and 2nd,  The coach called for a double steal.  The runner was called safe at 3rd.  the runner going for 2nd, was called out.  Now get this.  The home coach said the runner could not be out, because he had time out.  The home plate umpire said, “you did”?  “Yes”, replied the coach.  The umpire ruled the runner was safe at 3rd, and the runner that was called out would return to 1st.  Got that one figured out?  How do you have a timeout if the Umpire doesn’t know it?   Isn’t he the one who has call TIME?

Then at an 8th grade game the opposing batters stood at the plate with their toe just behind the point of home plate.  Their objective was to get hit by the pitch and get on base.  When the pitch they would turn into the plate, thus blocking at least half the plate, getting hit by the ball.  After the game I asked the umpire about the legality of this stance.  He said, “As long as the batter has any part of his foot in the batter’s box it is a legal stance”.  How many of you have feet big enough to to have your toe lined up with the point of home plate and still have part of your foot in the batter’s box.  Also questioned an attempt to get out of the way of the ball.  He told me as long as they turned he considered it an attempt to get out of the way of the ball.

Because I am running so long on this post. I will make this my last one.

It was an 8th grade game in a big city.  The home team attempted a steal of 2nd base.  The runner was caught in a run down.  Just before he was about to get tagged he raised his hand and asked for a timeout.  Timeout was granted and he was told to return to 1st.

Hope you enjoyed some of these strange calls.

That Is How I See It.


high school



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