Ah, the time of year when our local letter carriers bring surprises to our mailboxes. Yes, as my Little League umpire friends know, it is when World Series invitations come out.
I am seeing the excitement when people get their letter, the encouragement from others, and a few wondering why they didn’t get an invitation.
January 2014, I got my letter. WOW, the excitement could not be explained. To those who are getting your letters, I understand and could not be more happy for you. Enjoy it! You have worked many years to earn the privilege to work these games.
I also enjoy seeing others congratulate the new members of this group. Whether they have umpired in a World Series themselves, spent time at one (or more) of the World Series, are other league officials, other umpires that are striving to get to that level, or friends that understand what the letter means. The encouragement and “words of wisdom” that are shared. All this will build to a week during the summer that will be over all too quickly.
I won’t respond to those that are questioning why “so-and-so got a letter and I didn’t,” other than there is a reason. I don’t know it, you may or may not know, but for some reason, they were selected this time. Work to improve this year your knowledge of the rules, mechanics, and attitude, and hopefully you will get your letter next year.
I want to say a few things to my brothers from 2014 in Livermore. I enjoyed our time together. I hope that some day we can get together again. Though we will never be all together on the field again, I hope to have the chance to visit you and maybe work one more game with you.
To the family of my brothers from 2014, thank you for sharing a part of your lives with all of us. From the laughter in Melanie’s back yard, the smiles watching Leanne on TV with her sign about loving the umpires, to the tears of our lost brother. The stories of your lives as you return home away from the field just reminds us that, though we all claim that “baseball is life,” we do have other lives and loves. Thank you.
To those of you who will be going to a World Series this year, and hopefully in coming years, this will be a great time. There will be doubt whether you really are good enough to be there. You will worry over all your gear and clothing to make sure everything is “just right.” You will go through all your mechanics and question if you forgot anything. I only have one bit of advice: Relax and enjoy. I hope to see all of you on TV! Oh, and remember, “Don’t Suck!”