So long Rainbow Head. Un-pucker those lips Morganna. Check in with your probation officer Tasered Teen. Toronto natives, Tim Williams and Joe Farrell aka the “Fake Umps” took Major League stadiums by storm last summer and they recently went on tour to benefit UMPS CARE Charities.
The tour named, “Four Games for Bears” raised a total of $8,875.00 for the Major League Baseball Umpires hospital program that brings Build-A-Bear Workshops to the bedside of children with cancer or other serious illnesses. Visiting MLB stadiums in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Boston and the finale in their home town of Toronto, the duo continued their notoriety and helped to ensure continued smiles on the faces of children in hospitals across the country.
The first time I saw the “Fake Umps” on video in Toronto, I could not help but chuckle. Mimicking our calls on the field truly was unique and the fact they were outfitted in full, authentic umpire regalia furthered the impact and peaked my interest. Observing the positive fan reaction they created it was evident a cult following would soon follow.
Later that year, I had the pleasure of meeting Williams and Farrell at our UMPS CARE Charities annual Golf event in Phoenix and we spoke about their interest in the charity. “When we heard about UMPS CARE Charities, Joe and I immediately wanted to get involved. We had a lot of fun this past summer as the “fake umpires” and felt this would be a perfect charity for us to support. We thought it was very admirable that the majority of the MLB umpires have gotten behind this charity and dedicate so much of their free time to the hospital visits for terminally ill children, and the ticket programs for children awaiting adoption.”
While their calls during the game are the cornerstone, it was hilarious to hear how they spend their time prior to the first pitch. Williams said,
“I think the funniest part of the fan reaction for us is when we are in the uniforms before the game and we like to grab a few beers and mingle with fans. Many people actually think we are the real MLB umpires and are dumbfounded that we are allowed to cocktail before the games.”
Tim Williams and Joe Farrell have become a part of the countless people and organizations who unselfishly donate their time and money to UMPS CARE Charities. Their efforts truly make a difference in the lives of so many. I look forward to the continued success of the “Fake Umpires” and hope you will join me in thanking them for a job well done.
One final request to Tim and Joe and as a favor to all the umpires: don’t forget to mention to the fans while enjoying your pre-game beers that you are not the real guys but rather the “Fake Umpires” from Toronto.
Most fans probably already think we came from the bar stool.
Mike Di Muro is a 10 year Major League Umpire. He is the author of the official blog of UMPS CARE Charities. Please leave any questions or comments below.