Back to School

Baseball was my first love. As a small boy, I remember evenings spent curled on my Dad’s lap listening to the familiar voices of Harry Carey and Jack Buck on the radio. The St. Louis Cardinals had an awesome team in those days, featuring stars such as Lou Brock, Curt Flood, and future Hall of Famer, Bob Uecker.

I ordered a baseball uniform from Montgomery Ward and would dress-out every afternoon and practice hitting, pitching, and perfecting my hook slide. Desire and determination was my strong suit. I had everything it took to become a major leaguer—except talent. The rest, as they say, is history.

This week, as our relentless leader of FFF takes a much deserved holiday, I’ve decided to pay tribute to those much maligned Boys of Summer. No, not the guys who make millions for playing a kids game, but the Men in Blue who work so hard to protect the integrity of the sport I love and have nothing to show for it but verbal abuse and death threats—the umpires. As always, if you’d like to visit other FFF sites click here.

photo from pabaseball.blogspot
photo from pabaseball.blogspot

Have you always wanted to be a baseball star, but could never make the grade? Perhaps you’re slow afoot, dim-witted, or visually impaired. Well, now’s your chance to shine.

At the Helen Keller School of Umpiring College, we can teach you to overcome those challenges. How do we do it? By focusing on the five senses that make a perfect umpire; sound, smell, taste, touch, and fear.

Countless HK-SUC grads have found success at the collegiate and major league level and you can too.

Don’t be a wanna-be any longer.

Call 1-888-ISUC and start calling games like a professional.


If you’re a baseball fanatic–and a history buff–like me, head on over to JB Hogan’s site and pick up a copy of Angels in the Ozarks. It’s a great read.

27 Comments on “Back to School

  1. Haha on those five senses–Had you played baseball, we might not get to read your great stories.


  2. My father was a natural athlete. In the 1940s he was recruited by some MLB baseball team (possibly the Chicago Cubs). But, his mother forbade him from joining the team because baseball didn’t pay well in those days. He wanted to be a fireman, but again, she refused to give her seal of approval. Finally, she allowed him to be a jewelry salesman. But whenever we attended family picnics and someone had a pickup game of baseball going on, he always managed to get his hands on a bat and hit the ball into the next century. All three of his kids took more after his wife; a woman who could shoot an arrow into the sky and miss.


    • Your last sentence was written in true Rodney Dangerfield style. You may not be an athlete, but you have great timing as a comic genius.


  3. Baseball is one of the games I understand because my dad took my two sisters and me to games when we were little. Thanks for a wonderful srory.


  4. Russell, Your mind wanders on strange paths. This was hilarious. XD This seems to be a tad critical of umpires, but who cares when it’s that funny. I love the photo with the little addition. 🙂 —Susan


    • Actually, I did take the test and become a licensed softball umpire one season. You better have thick skin because you’re certainly going to get yelled at.


  5. Dear Russell,

    I call foul. You missed the base this week. No prompt? How dare you! We’ll say you tore away the wallpaper and found a baseball card. Yeah yeah, that’s the ticket. You made me laugh as always. Helen Keller? Oh my.

    Company arrived early this morning. Craziness and turmoil. I’ll leave the story telling to him.

    See you soon!


    She Who Remains Nameless


  6. 1-888-ISUC?! FOCRAFLOL 😀 Brilliant, just brilliant.

    A few years ago, my adult daughter played softball for a season. She had a secret weapon that allowed her to get to first base every time…after she hit the ball, she would wave her hands in the air wildly while running and screaming. It worked without fail. The other team would just look at her and wonder what the heck was wrong with her.


  7. Dear Russell, Helen Keller School for Umpiring? You are too much – Gosh you are a true humorist! Love it, love it! Where can people get their uniforms? Nan 🙂


  8. I think one of today’s world cup soccer game was umpired by a recent graduate of Helen Keller School for Umpiring. Can I sign up online and where do I send my credit card information?


    • You have to fill out your application in braille, but just send the credit card info to me. I’ll take care of the rest 🙂


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