Major League umpires will spend a vast majority of the year on the road and away from home. Hotels, airports, trains, planes and automobiles will be home to every umpire from March to October. This is an ongoing series entitled “Umpire Life on the Road”.
April 26, 2011 Day 45 on the road – Rainout in Minnesota.
Since leaving home March 1st, today is day 45 on the road. Finishing our four game series in San Diego, our next assignment takes us to Minnesota. Once arriving at the airport, I was greeted with an initial 3 hour delay. Spending every second or third day in airports, the road warrior must take delays, cancellations and the occasional TSA “body rub” in stride. Eventually, you will find a way to get to the next city before the first pitch.
We were told it was a mechanical issue with the plane. I am no expert, so if an airline mechanic says we need a new “johnson rod” in the plane, then I guess we better get one. Truthfully, it was more likely that the poor weather hitting Minneapolis was to blame for the delay.
Once arriving into Minneapolis, I waited for my luggage, jumped on the rental car shuttle, got the car and headed downtown. The crew was set to meet in the lobby at 5pm to leave for the ballpark. A text arrives soon after checking into the hotel indicating that the game was postponed. It will be made up as part of a split-doubleheader on Thursday.
A rainout in Minnesota is something new for many of us. Working under the white baggy that was the MetroDome, weather has never been an issue during the baseball season. So tonight will be a night off watching the NHL hockey playoffs.
Speaking of hockey, check out a great interview with one of the all time top officials in any sport – Bill McCreary. The longtime NHL referee retired this season and this interview confirms why he is such a well respected referee and professional.
Watch the video