Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The One & Only

David here again.

I thought y'all might be interested in knowing of something I can claim that no one else in the state of Georgia can brag about. I announced all of the varsity baseball games my senior year of high school and I managed to become the only announcer in Georgia high school baseball history... to be ejected from a game.

I'm usually humble about most things, even things in which I'm confident. But I'll just come out and say it: I was a dang good baseball announcer. I got the crowd going. My lip-syncing of pop songs during the 7th Inning Stretch was always a crowd pleaser. My zingers and wit were usually spot on. My "accidental" mispronunciation of the names of the visiting team's better players always drew cheers and jeers from the home crowd and the visitors, respectively. And each coach loved having his own personalized theme song played when he made his way onto the field.

But I'll admit, I took it too far on one fateful afternoon when arch-rival Cherokee High School came to Sequoyah for a game.

Late in the game and down by one run and with runners on second and third, one of our boys hit a shot down the left-field line - which was fair by more than a couple of feet - and scored the two runners, putting us ahead by a run.

From my announcer's booth, I saw the home plate umpire call the ball fair. Then, without explanation and after the two runners had scored, that same umpire said that the ball was foul. FOUL?!?!

Everyone... EVERYONE... flipped out! People were screaming their heads off at the umpire. Coaches were kicking sand in every direction, people were spilling drinks and screaming, I think I even saw one little boy's head start to bleed just out of sheer confustion. It was pan-de-lerium.

At that point, and for whatever reason, I honestly thought... Well, I have a microphone...

Oh yes I did. What's worse is that I thought this thought was a rational one.

So I clicked on the microphone and proceeded to say something to the effect of, "Mr. Umpire, sir, we all saw you call the ball fair, then call the ball foul. Well, which one is it?"

"Mr. Umpire" proceeded to turn around, look up at me and, with one arm moving in a strong throwing motion, he said, "YOU! YOU! YOU'RE OUTTA HERE!!!!"

As I was making my exit, I received an earful from two of my principals who happened to be attending the game, as well as from one of the coaches who was on the field and decided to turn his screaming energy from said umpire to now-ejected announcer.

I had this coach as a teacher for computer class and when I returned to class the following Monday, Coach walked up to me, apologized for screaming at me (which he didn't need to do - I fully realized what an idiot I had been), and went on to tell me that he and the head coach had scoured through the Georgia High School Baseball Almanac to find no record of an announcer having ever been ejected from a game. "So," he said in a congratulatory tone, "it looks like you're the only one in history."

While a twisted part of me swelled with pride, that was quickly deflated each and every time the game was replayed on the Cherokee County Cable Access station for all the world (at least in Cherokee County) - including MY MOTHER - to see. I'll never forget the words of the TV announcer as I made my exit: "Wow, the announcer just got tossed. I don't think I've ever seen that before."


katie davis said...

this might be my favorite post so far.

Hannah D said...

ditto. only you, jones, only you.


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