Umpire knocked out by coach in Vallejo

July 19, 2010 9:23:02 AM PDT
A baseball umpire is recovering from an injury he received on the field. He didn't get hit by a ball, or a bat, instead, he got punched in the face by one of the coaches.

Vallejo had just taken the lead against Sonoma in the Babe Ruth league state tournament and confidence among the 15-year-old players was running high. But the game came to an abrupt and unpredictable ending. The first base umpire made a tough call in the 7th inning and the call was against Vallejo. That's when it got ugly.

"The coach for the other team, Vallejo, came out and argued with the umpire and didn't like what he heard and reached his arm back as far as he could and cold cocked him," said Mike Cole, a parent of a Sonoma player.

Parents say the umpire was unconscious for about 20 minutes. The league's commissioner decided to end the game and give Sonoma the win.

"Kids didn't get to finish the game. I feel terrible for the Vallejo kids they should have been able to keep playing. They were winning at the time and then of course they had to forfeit the game," said Cole.

"I just feel ashamed, yeah very disappointed, on the fact that it happened and now we're getting disqualified for it," said Vallejo shortstop Chris Bruno.

The commissioner of the Babe Ruth baseball league said the umpire was taken to the hospital - the coach left the field and later went to the police department and turned himself in.

Fellow umpire Lem Snead says he's disappointed this happened, but not surprised. Snead says angry parents and coaches yell at him all the time and he frequently has to kick people out of the stands.

"Back in the day it used to be winning is not everything. Today they have shirts that say winning is the only thing -- what kind of message is that giving," said Snead.


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