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Old Sat Aug 21, 2004, 04:50pm
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 964
. . . when the game is televised. Went to Kalamazoo today for the Big League World Series final; took almost two hours for a 6 1/2 inning game. Forget 1 min between innings; players complete their warm-ups then stand around waiting for the PU to get the signal from the TV crew (ESPN2).

For those who have been critical of LL umpires, you need to see this crew. Very professional, crisp, but not flamboyant movements. On hit to outfield three base umps come inside and buttonhook together almost like a synchronized swim team. When outfielders move up for slap-hitting batter, the two foul line umpires move up. When outfielders go deep, umps go with them. But it was an easy game to call; only a couple tag plays and the umpires were in perfect position for the calls. Obviously the best that LL softball has to offer; they came from all over the country, averaging 20 years experience.

Like others, I do not like the “pointing” strike signal. But this ump did not turn his body for the signal and his head only moved slightly (most of the time).

Great day for a game; not a cloud anywhere, about 72 deg, maybe 4-5,000 fans surrounding the field. An international flavor to the crowd; I was surrounded by the Puerto Rican girls and their fans (man, are they loud!); in the area were several Dutch girls and players and fans from Southwest (Austin TX).

After knocking off their rivals from all over the country and the world, the game was played by a group of girls that live within 50 miles of each other – Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. And it was no contest as GR repaid the only team to beat them (2-0 in pool play) with a 7 zip thumping. GR is a powerful team, going 8 – 1 (8 shutouts) and outscoring their opponents 47 to 2. 18U Gold, or Big League – this is some level of ball!

Unfortunately, ESPN doesn’t think so. While ESPN is using prime time to show 12 yo boys in pool play, ESPN2 will show the girls championship on tape delay. Like almost a week. Scheduled for 11 am next Friday morning!


[Edited by WestMichBlue on Aug 21st, 2004 at 06:00 PM]
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