From Home Plate Day 3 – Bellville – Umpire Robert Slabinski

Dec 29: Life in South Africa is wonderful, umpiring in South Africa even better. We had about a 40 minute drive to the ballpark at Belleville. We will be traveling every game in order to showcase these teams to the local communities. Upon arrival, we were greeted with blue skies, a very light breeze and HOT, somewhere in the 90’s.

And we also had a fabulous view of Table Mountain. As bad luck would have it, the local umpires did not show up. As any good umpire knows, always take your equipment with you and that is exactly what I did, all the way from California. So, let’s get suited up and have some fun. As for base umpires, we use Louie at third, a local gentlemen, that took the field in shorts and flip flops.By the end of the game, the flip flops were gone! As for first, we used a coach from the Eden team, Vladimir. Both of the base umpires, with a 3 minute crash course did an outstanding job. I would take the field with either of them anytime!!!

As for the game, it was FABULOUS. We had a tight 4 – 4 game thru 4 innings, a great pitchers dual, good plays by infielders and the outfielders. Sadly, the Pole-2-Pole team replaced their pitcher in the 5th and the flood gates opened. Final score was 10 – 4. A much, much better game than what the score showed. Both teams should be extremely proud of the way they played. They are very disciplined in the field ALWAYS hitting their cutoff men. The series is now 2 – 1 in favor of the German team.

We still have 6 games to go. As for myself, I had the time of my life, calling a game from the dish in South Africa. I would never have ever thought I would be calling baseball games in Africa!!!

Fun Fact: Mark’s eldest daughter Jodi asked me to play catch today. She is a recent graduate from the university. This young woman can certainly throw the baseball. She throws curves, 4 seam fastballs and a great 2 seam fastball with late movement. INCREDIBLE!!! I think she needs to give my son a lesson on pitching!!

Fun Fact: ZEBRAs, while on the way to the ballpark, I saw ZEBRAs on the side of a hill. SPECTACULAR!!!

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