My Wife is a Baseball Widow

“This marriage is subject to temporary interruption during
baseball season”
That is a sign
that I used to have hanging in my office before we moved into our house over
the winter.  I came across it the other day in the garage and the sign
could not be more accurate during this time of year for me and my wife.
Fifteen years ago
I responded to an ad in the paper to attend an umpire course at Shrewsbury High
School.  I had stopped coaching baseball the year before because, to be
quite honest, I couldn’t deal with the helicopter parents of my teams, I would
go out of my mind now.  I love the game of baseball and I still wanted to
be involved.  So I decided to become an umpire.
The course was,
and still is, six weeks long.  I thought I was really up to snuff with the
rules of the game but boy was I wrong.  Did you know that there is no rule
that says “tie goes to the runner”?  Did you know that there is
no definition of what determines a swing?  Did you know there is a
“fourth out” in some instances?  And batting out of order is not
as cut and dry as it seems.  There is definitely brain overload when
learning all the rules but in the end you are a true student of the game.
I first got into
umpiring and figured I would do it for a couple of years and do it to earn
money for my greens fees when I played golf.  But during my first year I
made more than enough and I was doing low level Babe Ruth games.  One of
the senior members of the board, one of my mentors, and friend told me to keep
at and I would be a top tier umpire one day.  It was nice to hear but not
something I thought of.  The more I umpired, the better I got and noticed
that I was getting more games and better games, and I saw how much money I
could really make.
I started dating
my wife in 2004, and we got married in 2007.  When we were planning our
honeymoon I told her not to cut ourselves short and that my umpiring money
would pay for our honeymoon.  She didn’t believe me.  Not only did my
umpiring pay for a two week Italian honeymoon, there was extra left over.
 It is definitely the best part time job I have ever had.
However, as my
family grows it gets harder and harder to take games.  I am currently
scheduled 78 games this year, and there is a State and Regional tournament that
I have not received my assignments for yet.  The past three years I have
averaged roughly 85 games, doing strictly high school and college level games.
 I’d like to think I get the games because I am considered a good umpire,
and to be honest I am nowhere near where I want to be as an umpire.  But
will I get there? 
It will be tough
as it becomes harder and harder to leave my girls every night to go do a game
and some instances miss days with them on the weekend.  The worst part is
when I leave for a game and my oldest daughter says AWWWWWW!!!! and it breaks
my heart.  My wife has not laid down any ultimatums on this but I could
not argue if she did.  But at some point something has to give and to be
honest I am not as young as I used to be and my body doesn’t respond as
I just want to
thank my wife for understanding not taking away one of the true things I love
to do.  She is leaving the decision on my schedule to me and that is
admirable.  She has every right to scream and yell at me, but she doesn’t.
 She has every reason to put her foot down and she doesn’t.  I have
the next two days off from umpiring and I will spend it baptizing my daughter
and spending time with my family.  
This weekend they
will need to play ball without me.
Coming Right Atcha

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