The rules of etiquette in amateur baseball are quite clear in the matter of players losing their cool. You throw your helmet, you’re gone. You throw your bat, you’re gone. No discussion, no debates, no appeals.
But even very good umpires do not have eyes in the back of their heads. So let’s say a game is being played at, oh, Somerville’s Trum Field, and let’s say some Yawkey League hothead tries to turn his helmet into the Delta Shuttle after popping out to short, and let’s say that, at that precise moment, the plate umpire happens to be admiring the design of the Somerville Public Works Building, which is located out beyond the left field fence.
Under these circumstances, this is what happens: Nothing. The hothead gobbles up his helmet and returns to the bench, the next hitter steps up to the dish, the game continues.
Life goes on.
And so it is that we introduce Walter Bentson, a longtime umpire on the New England amateur baseball scene who has carved out a richly-deserved reputation as a hardball arbiter with that rare blend of keen eye, solid judgment and refreshing temperament. Read more