Players pray for stricken umpire

Published 7:54 pm Monday, June 25, 2018

The Tyrrell Mets were hosting the Mattamuskeet Farm Bureau U12 baseball team June 5 when umpire Travis Spruill complained of chest pains and became unable to officiate.

Spectators rushed onto the field to offer help, paramedics soon arrived, and then someone noticed the players.

“The most amazing part was the ball kids,” Barbara Fleming stated, “11-12 year olds were huddled way in the field (for the game had stopped) saying a prayer for their ump.”

Selma Boucher described her feelings this way: “Such a proud mom moment to look out on the baseball field and see our boys kneeling in prayer together on their own, while the paramedics were tending to our umpire.”

“What I witnessed tonight,” Fleming wrote, “was a group of preteen boys who could have taught this entire nation a few scruples, morals and compassion.” She added, “To those young boys, thanks, you are more mature than most adults I know.”

Spruill reportedly was treated in a hospital for heat exhaustion and released. He was said to be ready to call games this week.

A certified umpire from Hyde County volunteered to officiate the remainder of the game, and Farm Bureau went on to win.