Monday, July 25, 2011
PRH....The Marathon Man, and the "Rubber" Field proves its worth..
Sam got in 9 1/2 of his 10 games in Minster, with only the Pony League Championship being called after 3 innings yesterday afternoon, when the first of the heavy rain and lightning arrived. The score of 6-3 was awarded to Russia's 14 year olds and the tournament was history. I umpire 3 games with Sam, 2 on Friday and 1 on Saturday...Meanwhile at Celina, the State ACME Tournament(Summer High School Baseball) kicked off with four games on Saturday...then Sunday I was assigned the first 2 of my 4 games in the tournament(the others will be tomorrow night), with Wayne from Sidney...Wayne is 4 months older than me, and I am guessing us working together marked the first time 2 Vietnam Veterans worked a State Tournament game, in ACME ball....but I have no way of knowing for sure. Wayne served with the Army's 25th Infantry during Vietnam and received a Purple Heart for his wounds....I, of course was much more lucky, surviving my tour as a Air Force Cop, with no wounds, no PTSD, and no Agent Orange issues...or at least none that I know, or would claim....I was crazy when I went over. Anyway Wayne is one tough, no nonsense, old bird, and we worked well together... with the storms that would play havoc,we would need to.
Wayne took the plate for game #1 on the day...four were scheduled, and we were working the first two....normally we would have been done by 5pm....it ended up being 9:30. Game one, with Lima Shawnee scoring 9 runs in the 5th inning to break open a close game, ended in just 90 minutes, with Shawnee beating Springfield, Ohio, by a 10-0 count in a 5 inning run rule. We started the second game, between Vandalia-Butler and Defiance right on time at 2:30pm. 4 rain delays, 1 extra inning, 14 runs, and 7 hours later, with me behind the plate, we finished with Butler coming out on top in 8 innings 8-6. I was soaked to the bone, hot, humid, wet, and weary, I made my way home for a few beers, a warm shower, a Reds win, and finally some much needed sleep.
Never in my umpiring, playing, or coaching life, have I ever been involved in a game of this length. The reason we let it go that long were as follows: (1) The game #3 opponents, Toledo Central Catholic and Minster had issues....TCC for one, had already made the 2 1/2 hour drive, I nor the tournament staff wanted to send them back to Toledo without completing a game, only to bring them back tonight. Minster meanwhile was only 20 miles away...but the Wildcats are slated to be in Cincinnati tonight to be recognized on the field before the Reds~Mets game, for the Spring High School, Division 4 State Championship. So despite 2+ inches of rain, the rubber turf field handled the water, which fell in 4 installments...I stayed soaked from a combination of rain and sweat, and we got it done. The Minster~TCC game would begin with the other 2 umpires working it through more rain, and finally finished up just after Midnight with Minster staying in the winners bracket, by a 8-3 win. Game #4 had been postponed before Bowling Green and Greenville had left their towns...and will be played tonight...the tournament remains on schedule to be finished up on Saturday. Garry and I will work the two loser's bracket games tomorrow...the weather looks to stay hot(it was brutal over the weekend), but dry for the time being. With that said, the rains, although a pain for baseball, were for the most part welcome.
The Rubber/ turf Montgomery Field proved it's worth...the $100,000 plus gift from Celina Insurance and the Montgomery Family has been a boon to baseball in Celina...were else could you get this kind of rain at a City owned High School Diamond, and still play the same day?
Photos-The Turf/Rubber Field at Eastview Park, as it looked on Friday...I failed to take photos yesterday when it was flooded, but despite the downpours, we got 3 of 4 games in and the ACME State Tournament remains on schedule. The Dodge Nitro, despite just over 30,000 miles seems to be having some "issues"...we will take it in to the dealers this morning, and hopefully see what the problem might be.