From Home Plate Day 7 – Durbanville – Umpire Robert Slabinski

Jan 2: We awoke to a mostly cloudy sky, kind of unusual, I have been used to crystal clear, blue skies early in the morning. We had 2 games at Darbenville, about a 60 minute drive from the campground. Due to a lack of a car, it won’t start, we are forced to call a Lyft driver to get 4 of us to the ballpark. Along the way, we stopped and picked up Geno, one of the local umpires.

In the early game, we had Eden Baseball Academy play Pole-2-Pole II (P2P). The
game started out very bad for Eden as they gave up 10 runs in the first inning. Sadly, the game ended in an 18 – 0 defeat. In the first inning, the Eden catcher took a foul ball to the mask. He was helped off the field and taken to a local hospital for a possible concussion. In the first inning, as Eden was getting lit up, they brought in a young man who had never really pitched before. We easily could have balked him on most pitches but in the spirit of the game and series, we turned a blind eye, temporarily. Prior to the second inning starting, Umpire Bob was seen giving the young pitcher a crash course on how to pitch from the Set position. I know umpires aren’t supposed to “coach” the kids, but as a self proclaimed ambassador of baseball, Bob felt the need to help out, it worked. For the next 3 innings, this new pitcher, with his new found talent completely shutdown the P2P team! On the plate we had Geno, calling a stellar game with a great strike zone for this level of talent, at first was Denver and Bob was at third. This has become common to see Bob at third. That way he can watch the other umpires and provide valuable feedback.

In the afternoon match, we once again had Deutsche Baseball Academy (DBA) vs Pole-2-Pole (P2P). By game time, the cloud cover had cleared and we had mostly clear skies. The P2P team started the game quickly and posted 6 runs in the first inning. They never looked back and won 15 – 9. The series is now 4 games to 2 in favor of DBA.

We had a controversial play at first which prolonged the inning giving P2P an extra 4 runs. The play was whether the first baseman pulled his foot from the bag for the third out of the inning. There was a heated discussion between the first base umpire and the DBA coach. Later in the game we had a double call, plate umpire signaled foul while the third base umpire signaled fair. We will once again have to work on the concept of “pain of glass”.

With the wind blowing out to left field, we thought we might see our first out of the park home run. We were disappointed, we only had 2 one hop doubles to the fence.

Medical Update: The catcher from Eden does have a concussion and will be shutdown for the rest of the series.

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