I'm a Baseball Umpire.... Often known as BLUE!!! It"s one of the most scrutinized professions on the planet. So, why would anyone want to do it?In four words, "Because we enjoy it".
I love umpiring!! It's one of many officiating professions that puts you right in the game. It demands an individual process a lot of information instantly, make accurate split decisions, endure criticism, have others lambast you, question your authority and still..... One MUST remain positive.
Being an Umpire is a huge responsibility. From Little League to Major League the players depend upon you for accuracy, decisiveness, fairness, consistency, and positivity. Many individuals think it's an easy job. However, they will never gear up. It's easier to watch on television making calls with instant replay. For us, it's in "real time" and quick. Getting the call right is sometimes by a hair or specific angle. Yet, we are brave enough to make the tough call.
One can easily relate umpiring to the everyday work world. We work in teams, dress alike and depend upon each other. We never throw one another under the bus. By doing so, we allow the game to take on a life of its own. This allows the players to determine an outcome. At the same time, if something is not right we come together as partners to correct it.
As the game has changed, so have we. Instead of just dressing alike in blue, there are now many options on shirt colors. There is navy blue, light blue, red, pink, cream and black. Wearing the same colors demonstrates unity, consistency, professionalism, and respect for the game. So, how did we get the name BLUE? For the most part, we wear blue shirts.
Besides our shirts, there is a lot of gear we put on. What you wear for the day depends upon if you're on Bases or The UIC (Umpire In Charge). The UIC controls the flow of the game from beginning to end. He or she is usually behind the plate. They call balls, strikes, outs. Their specialized gear includes a specific hat, shirt, charcoal pants, belt, face mask, chest protector, cup, shin guards two black or blue ball bags and steel toe shoes.
An Umpire's protector on the field is The Catcher. Good Catchers keep The UIC from getting struck by the ball and getting hurt. Even though well protected, that little round baseball can do a lot of damage. Traveling at high velocities it can break bones, stop your heart, leave severe bruises or provide a nasty concussion. Our equipment for the most part protects us. However, there are areas with slight openings and the ball somehow manages to find its way into that area.
Umpiring provides numerous parallels to The Executive Management World. It is a position of authority, leadership, and mentoring. One must exude positive qualities to be respected by those involved or others observing the game. These include being a great communicator, listener, knowledgeable, honest, and possessing high self-esteem. Yet, one must constantly critique themselves and request feedback from others to improve. Sound familiar Leaders?
Feel free to share this article with everyone in your family. Those willing to sharpen their senses and test one's tolerance can join us. It takes well calculated mental, physical and emotional preparation. Yet, it requires one to be cool, calm, collective and always positive. Even in the heat of battle!!
I invite you to get off the couch, bar seat or from in front of the TV. It's easy to holler, yell or make calls from there. Try it live!! Get a better appreciation for my profession. Step into the game and have some funnnnn™.
Join my profession and put on the BLUE!!