Today at the 12u Cal Ripken World Series we had two games, the International Championship and the US Championship.
I was umpiring in the International Championship game that featured Korea vs Japan. It remained scoreless until the 3rd when Japan opened the scoring. They held the Koreans to no runs and won the game easily. I have watched a lot of baseball over the years and this Japanese team has some of the best defence I’ve ever seen.
In the US Championship, Virginia faced Mid-Atlantic in one of the most exciting games I’ve witnessed. Mid-Atlantic held a 4-3 lead after the first until the top of the 6th when Virginia went ahead 5-4. In the bottom, the leadoff hitter struck out. The second hitter nearly tied the game with a shot to center field, but the ball stayed in the park and the center fielder threw a perfect ball to second base to retire the runner attempting to stretch it to a double. It was, likely, one of the best throws of the tournament. The 3rd out was obtained from an easy ground out sending the Virginia team to the World Championship tomorrow.
They’ll have their hands full against a Japanese team that likely hasn’t committed an error in the tournament. I’m sure it will be an exciting game.
Today wraps up my umpiring at this, my first, World Series. I didn’t expect to be assigned to the Championship as other umpires have been here before. Watching from the media center will be a much better view anyway.
I worked with some of the best umpires I’ve ever had the honour to work with. We’ve gotten to know each other pretty well over the last week. We’ve bugged the hell out of each other and I hope, we’ve made some friends that we’ll have for some time.
As of now, I’ve retired from umpiring. I’m definitely taking 2019 off and, if I’m not bored and don’t miss it too much, that’ll be it. To work with such a great group at such an excellent tournament, I can’t imagine a better way to go.