Baseball from Behind the Plate: An Umpire’s View

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You’ve seen them get screamed at, spit on, objects thrown at them, dirt kicked on their shoes, and full-on adults throw toddler-level tantrums at them. Maybe you’re one of the people booing them from the stands. Or perhaps you’re the player who gives a dirty look after a called strike. So how do umpires see it? Umpire View | TAPIntoTravel.com

Obviously they are not. There’s a different view from the behind the plate, one you won’t get taking a trip to any ballpark anywhere. Unless you’ve donned the mask and been smoked by a 85+ mph fastball in the face, you’ll never know how an umpire thinks or sees the game. So if you’re curious, keep reading.

The umpire is the only person on the field who knows the strike zone and they stand in the only area where it’s possible to see its entirety. Not even the catcher can see the whole zone, and they’re often trying to manipulate it by ‘framing’ pitches.

Umpires spend hours poring through the rule books, situational books, and attending meetings and expos to improve their field conduct, performance, and knowledge of the game. Players don’t do this, coaches don’t do this, and certainly the fans don’t do this.

Many players get popped by angry fastballs or stray curveballs, but they can anticipate impact, lean their body to receive the blow, or even dodge it if they can. Umpires, on the other hand, are the champs who stand still and take it like a boss. A blast on the elbow, a skipped ball to the inner thigh, a foul-tip into the mask; umpires anticipate this to happen before every game, and possibly on every pitch.

They still never flinch.

They can’t even blink; a pitch will take only 500 milliseconds to reach the plate and a blink takes between 300-400 milliseconds. They could miss nearly the entire throw! These umpires are true professionals, at every level.

So before you’re the angry coach screaming from the dugout, ‘that was a ball!’ (it was a strike). Or you’re the mental fan shouting and booing from 200 feet away about a tag-out you think you saw. Take a moment to consider that the only person who has the best view, and is virtually always correct, is the umpire.

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The post Baseball from Behind the Plate: An Umpire’s View appeared first on TAP into Travel Blog.

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