Posts

Joe Driscoll Foundation

More to Driscoll’s Life Than Umpiring

It was a playoff game between Reading and Tewksbury and the schedule-maker assigned two guys named Driscoll as the umpires. The base umpire, Joe Driscoll, seemingly had been around baseball forever, a veteran arbiter whom everybody trusted.

The plate umpire was Joe’s son, Todd. He was young, inexperienced. There were fears he’d make a bad call and blow the game. Read more

Umpire Walter Bentson

True Blue

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

Baby’s Window Shatters As Mass. Envelope Wins It

There were two outs last night in the seventh inning of the seventh game of this long Park League championship series. The league sponsor pushed his way into the crowd behind home plate to pick up the trophies from the scorekeeper for the quick postgame presentation.

A woman pushed her way through the crowd to the scorer’s table.

“I live in that green apartment building over there,” she said. She was very upset. “Someone hit a ball through my window. There’s a baby in the room, glass everywhere . . .”

“Report it to City Hall,” the scorekeeper told him, and that was that. This was a baseball game! Read more

Terry Bardoff is Happy First In Park League

Terry Bardoff wishes to be treated “like any other umpire in the Park League,” and that’s the way it has been and is going to be as far as team managers are concerned.

Be that as it may, there is an inescapable difference, because Bardoff is the first woman umpire in the history of the 51-year-old league. All hands are agreed that there is no sound reason why it hasn’t happened sooner, but that’s the way it is. So, Bardoff is, in a sense, a trail blazer, although she doesn’t regard herself as such. Read more