As They See 'Em
MILLIONS OF AMERICAN BASEBALL FANS KNOW, WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY, that umpires are simply overpaid galoots who are doing an easy job badly. Millions of American baseball fans are wrong.
As They See ’Em is an insider’s look at the largely unknown world of professional umpires, the small group of men (and the very occasional woman) who make sure America’s favorite pastime is conducted in a manner that is clean, crisp, and true. Bruce Weber, a New York Times reporter, not only interviewed dozens of professional umpires but entered their world, trained to become an umpire, then spent a season working games from Little League to big league spring training. As They See ’Em is Weber’s entertaining account of this experience as well as a lively exploration of what amounts to an eccentric secret society, with its own customs, its own rituals, its own colorful vocabulary. Writing with deep knowledge of and affection for baseball, he delves into such questions as: Why isn’t every strike created equal? Is the ump part of the game or outside of it? Why doesn’t a tie go to the runner? And what do umps and managers say to each other during an argument, really?
Packed with fascinating reportage that reveals the game as never before and answers the kinds of questions that fans, exasperated by the clichés of conventional sports commentary, pose to themselves around the television set, Bruce Weber’s As They See ’Em is a towering grand slam.
The Best Seat In Baseball Except You've Got to Stand
To provide this unique—if controversial—look at major league baseball as umpires see it, Lee Gutkind spent the 1974 season traveling with the umpiring crew of Doug Harvey (crew chief), Nick Colosi, Harry Wendelstedt, and Art Williams, the first black umpire in the National League. The result is an honest, realistic, insightful study of the private and professional world of major league umpires: their prejudices and petty biases, their unbending pride in their performance, their inside perspectives on the game, and their bitter criticism of the abuse often directed at their profession and at their conduct. As relevant today as it was in 1974, this illustrated chronicle shows how little has changed in the lives and duties of umpires in the last quarter century.
Guided by his passionate love for the game as he wrote The Best Seat in Baseball, But You Have to Stand!, Gutkind attempted to present the umpires in a positive but realistic light: "I portrayed them as real people, honorable, hard-working and dedicated, but with warts and flaws like the rest of us. But they didn't want to be compared with real people; they wanted to be umpires—on a plateau above most everyone else." Since the publication of this book in 1975, neither Harvey nor Wendelstedt have communicated with Gutkind, with Wendelstedt even denying that Gutkind traveled with the crew.
Dean of Umpires: Bill McGowan
Hall of Fame umpire Bill McGowan controlled the field of play as much with his personality as with the rulebook; his respected 30-year career, including 2,532 consecutive games, was among the longest in baseball history. McGowan was the home plate umpire in the first-ever American League pennant playoff game, Cleveland versus Boston in 1948. Famous for his sense of humor, great dramatics, and wild gestures, he was known to turn a strike into a ball if he thought a player deserved a break, or to eject half a team if they annoyed him. He promoted such players as Goose Goslin, Moe Berg, Stanley "Bucky" Harris, and Jimmy Dykes; wrote articles and newspaper columns; and founded a school for umpires in College Park, Maryland, which continues today as the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School.
This richly illustrated biography gives an intimate view of this talented umpire, from his birth in 1896 and long marriage to his death from diabetes in 1954. With research including interviews with former players as well as family members, the work provides a wealth of anecdotes and insights into his profession. The textbook McGowan wrote for his students is included as an appendix.
You;ve Got to Have Balls to Make It in This League
In You’ve Got to Have Balls to Make It in This League Pam Postema reveals with frank language and uncompromising candor what it was like being an umpire in professional baseball. For thirteen seasons, from 1977 until her unconditional release in 1989, Postema umpired more than two thousand baseball games, making national news as she worked in various minor leagues as high as level AAA—one step below the majors. She also called many major league spring training games as well as the Hall of Fame game in 1988 between the Yankees and the Braves.
Postema’s story is one of grit and determination to succeed in a profession dominated by men, but it is also an intimate look at umpiring. Postema discusses the mindset behind making a proper call, the weeks of intensive training, ejecting problem players and managers, and the chaos mixed with the monotony of being on the road most of the year. Throughout, Postema relates her encounters with major league stars when they were just up-and-comers in the minors.
The Men in Blue
The philosopher Jacques Barzun thought that "whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball." And whoever wants to know baseball had better learn about umpires. As Larry Gerlach points out in The Men in Blue, these arbiters transform competitive chaos into organized sport. They make it possible to "play ball," but nobody loves them.
Considering the abuse meted out by fans and players, why would any sane person want to be an umpire? Many reasons emerge in conversations with a dozen former major league arbiters. While nobody loves them, they love the game. Gerlach has elicited entertaining stories from these figures under fire--about their lonely travels, their dealings with umpire baiters, battles for unionization, breaking through the color line, and much more. From Beans Reardon, who came up to the National League in 1926, to Ed Sudol, who retired in 1977, here is a witty and telling portrait of baseball from the boisterous Golden Age to the Jet Age of Instant Replay.
Three and Two
The Autobiography of Tom Gorman, the Great Major League Umpire
In this work, nineteen umps provide their unique insight on some of the most important and pivotal moments in baseball history.
Softball Illegal Pitches: Everything You Need To Know
Identifying and calling an illegal pitch is on tof the most challenging judgments a fast-pitch softball umpire has to make. This book will give you both the how and the why, straight from high school and college umpiring experts. You'll get an in-dept look.
Softball Game Intelligence: The Difference Maker in Officiating
Take away the rules and mechanics and what do you have left? You have Game Intelligence: The Difference-Maker in Officiating. This book reveals insights, secrets and tools that can help you go from good to great.
Softball Umpiring Mechanics Illustrated: For Two and Three Person High School Crews with CD-ROM
Designed from the ground up, Softball Mechanics Illustrated is the only High School softball mechanics book with detailed images and lifelike illustratons. Referee’s exclusive MechaniGram™ graphics bring positions, signals and more