That time I ejected a coach

I have heard umpires brag about how many coaches or players they have ejected.

Not me.

One of the things about my high school baseball umpiring career of which I am most proud is that I got along with almost every coach and in my entire career and only ejected one high school coach.

He was one of the top Class A coaches in the state from Midland Dow High School … but he richly deserved the ejection.

It was during the Valley Invitational Tournament.

Here is the story:

It was an in-season tournament and was held the weekend before the final week of the regular season, thus any teams in contention for the league title saved their best pitchers for league games.

So, to set the stage: It is the tournament finals. The two teams are down to pitchers number four and number five or lower, so the quality isn’t great. To add to it, Dow is in the finals against city rival Midland.

The Dow catcher is the son of their coach.

I am the base umpire, and my partner, the plate umpire, is a very good official, Rick Havercroft. Rick had been a student in my biology class and I was his ninth-grade basketball coach. He was also on my football crew. Rick is still a Division 1 College Softball umpire. Like I said, he is an excellent umpire.

Now, catcher/son keeps “showing up” Rick in the first two to three innings. He kept holding pitches for a long time that were called a ball. He kept turning his head to look at Rick to show his displeasure with calls and generally doing things a catcher should not do. Several times, Rick stopped the game to dust the plate when it didn’t need cleaning. He was discretely telling the catcher to stop with the antics.

So, now, said catcher/coach’s son is at bat. At about pitch three or four, Rick calls strike two. The catcher steps out of the batter’s box, turns and faces Rick, and draws a line with his bat in the batter’s box dirt to show where HE thought the pitch was.

Rick immediately ejects him, which was exactly what I would have done.

Out from the bench comes coach/Daddy.

Now, I know Rick is a big boy and capable of handling things, so I remained out by second base and was chatting with the second baseman and shortstop while Rick was getting an earful from the coach.

Well, the debate goes on for a while, with the coach loudly arguing, and Rick keeps saying, “That was strike two, coach. Your player has been ejected and we need a new batter.”

I finally decided to wander in and get things moving.

When I get to the debate, I say, “Coach, your catcher (I tactfully refrained from saying ‘your son’) has been showing up my partner the entire game. He has been ejected and we need your substitute.”

The coach spun around and screamed, “BULL ****.”

It was so loud that everyone at the field and in the stands could plainly hear it.

And, thus, he became my only high school regular season coach ejection.

His assistant coach and the school athletic director took over and also coached at first base. We knew each other quite well and he never said a word to me. He knew the ejection was well earned.

Questions and comments: theoldref@yahoo.com.


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