Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Back on the Diamond....

The two week stretch of far above normal temperatures came to a cool and windy, albeit sunny, end yesterday...just as I, 10 days out from Carotid Artery Surgery, headed back to the baseball diamonds, to begin my 13th consecutive season working high school and uper levels of baseball umpire work.

I had noticed, in the days following and the weeks before, my surgery, that once you start slowing down, being less active becomes self fulfilling.  I had pretty well made up my mind to get back on the diamond yesterday....sure there were risks, but I figured if I worked the bases, and not behind the plate, for the first 5 days or so, it would be easier to slip back into action, without being overly paranoid.

I headed out north on US 127 about 3:30pm on the 40 mile drive north to Paulding....game time was slated for 5pm.  I arrived just before 4:30, talked with Chris, the Athletic Director{and head football coach} for a few, and discussed the weather, my neck, and the fact that I was going to slowly get back into action, avoiding the plate work, until at least Saturday.  My partner, Dan, agreed to work the "dish" and after the coaches meeting at home plate, we settled in for a 2 hour 50 minute marathon, which is common in many early season varsity games....visiting Lima Shawnee finally closed the deal with a 13-6 road win.  I have to admit, even though I was glad to be back working, the game started to drag about the 5th inning, and my concentration suffered.  I had no close or controversial plays in the field, and although with a strong northeast wind and mid 40s, making it seem much colder, I survived...my voice still not close to normal, but I survived intact.

I arrived home about 8:45, a long day indeed...settled down with a beer, and watched the Flyers lose to Tampa Bay in NHL action...not that that matters, Philly has clinched a playoff birth, and it appears they will finish with the third best points total, but slotted 5th in the Eastern Playoffs, due to divisional placing.

It appears things will be a bit warmer tonight as I head for Lima Central Catholic...I had accidentally contracted for a JV game there last summer, but despite the lower pay, it will give me a chance to observe a younger umpire, and help him out if he needs it...tomorrow varsity at Van Wert, Thursday another at Spencerville, after I finish my doctors appointment at New Bremen.  No game scheduled for Friday...then Saturday will be the real test.  A triple header at Delphos St. Johns, where I will have to work at least one game behind the plate...and hope my new full face hockey helmet/mask does it's job.

Next week will see a full schedule, except for April 4th, when I gave Garry my game at Crestview, so I can head for Lima to have the medal staples removed from my neck.....hopefully by that time I will be nearing normal in both health and voice....by now however, I have learned to take nothing for granted.

back later>>>>

Photo-It felt good to get back in action, even though it was working the bases, like, shown here at the American Legion District title last summer....my neck stitches, shown here 11 days out, will not permit me to get behind the plate for awhile longer, shown here working the ACME District at Lima Central Catholic, where I will be tonight for my second game of the season.

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