Umpiring can be a blast

History says I might not be the right person to be soliciting potential umpires for the upcoming Rock Island-Milan Little League baseball season.

In the spirit of disclosure, I have had many ups and downs with the men — and women — in blue through the years. Hello, understatement of all-time.

I might — on an occasion or 200 of them — have asked umpires about their vision status, whether their seeing eye dog helped them with the call or if their eye wear prescription needed to be updated.

On occasion — or 300 of them — over many years, umpires might have suggested I close my mouth and just play, coach or spectate. Or, if I continued my behavior, that I should do it elsewhere, out of the park.

If memory serves me correct, I have never received a dinner or holiday invitation from an umpire in my 50 years of being around the game. I assume those invites were lost in the mail.

Yet while I have a checkered past — and probably a checkered future with officials — some of the greatest times in my life were as an umpire. There is not a better life experience for a young person than being an official.

The Rock-Island Milan Little League is looking for people to umpire this season. If you are over 13 and want a chance to be around a great game, learn something about baseball, deal with small bouts of adversity and get paid while doing it, then this is the perfect summer gig. You will be provided with instruction and proper gear and dress.

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