Umpires endure a ton of insults when they're making calls behind home plate. One missed call can lead to getting intentionally beaned by the pitcher or at the very least taking heat from coaches, parents and players.
If you've ever been to a little league game, you know the moms and dads in the stands can be worse hecklers than disgruntled New York Yankees fans. They're absolutely ruthless and have no problem tearing down an umpire if it means little Jimmy goes 1-for-4 and wins his meaningless ballgame.
Sometimes comments directed at umpires cross the line.
Umpire Quits After Parents Heckle, Insult Him
Good for the umpire. What's sad is the parents think they're in the right in this situation. A woman went as far as insulting the umpire's height. Pathetic. pic.twitter.com/2N06edO1NO
— Basketball Coaching Tools (@BBallTools) November 21, 2019
A video of one of these parent-umpire exchanges went viral on TikTok, and it's pretty appalling. It took place at a youth game in Newport Beach, California.
"I'm not hearing another word out of any of you" the umpire says in frustration. "If you want to have a game here, quiet down."
As boos and chants rain down from the unhappy fans in the stands, including one who tells him to "stay professional," the Little League umpire grows more and more furious. He returns to his post just before one lady sends him over the edge with an insult from left field.
"Are you mad because the kids are taller than you?" she yells out.
Yikes. The umpire immediately decides calling this game isn't worth the $50 or so bucks he was probably receiving. He throws his baseballs to the ground and storms out of the park.
If you ask me, this was uncalled for. It's one thing to take issue with an umpire's job performance, but attacking something as trivial as his height is just flat-out mean. What did she think she was going to accomplish besides hurting his feelings?
That fan may have received a few laughs from her fellow parents, but the ump got the last laugh by leaving the situation entirely. Good for him for taking a stand.
"We have confirmed that this video is two years old and our team and parents did not partake in this dispute. With a glance back at the video our kids are seen in the third base dugout. GBG has never tolerated this behavior, but rather stated from the start that we will not put up with it," it read.
"We understand that sometimes we don't agree with the umpire's calls, but the coach is the first line of defense to deal with this. At no point should an occasion occur that an Umpire should feel so uncomfortable that they would walk out of a game. Situations like this only ruin the experience for all involved."
Youth sporting events shouldn't be a place where insults are hurled at underpaid little league baseball umpires. It should be a place where hitters are fielders just have fun and enjoy themselves.
This post was originally published on November 6, 2020.
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