LAWRENCEVILLE (KDKA) – Major League Baseball’s men in blue are teaming up to help support local children with cancer and other serious illnesses.
Four umpires visited Children’s Hospital on Tuesday to take part in a special workshop.
Umpires can drive fans and players crazy at times, but they definitely made the right call today.
Emily Berger recently had her tonsils removed, but thanks to the MLB umpires, she’s smiling.
“It was special. She knew that they were doing this this morning and the first thing she said this morning was, ‘I want to go make a bear,’” Emily’s mom, Lisa, said.
Emily was just one of many kids who got to customize stuffed animals at Children’s Hospital.
Umpiring the efforts, were the same four men who are in town to call the Pirates’ series against the Cardinals this week.
“It’s a chance to get away from the field. It’s a chance to give back a little bit. Umps Care Charities has been very successful doing these types of things. It’s our 60th one, our first here time in Pittsburgh though. We’re thrilled with that,” Umpire Dale Scott said.
The parents and kids all had some good baseball questions for the umpires too. While thy made the kids’ day, the umpires also get a lot out of the experience.
Scott: When you walk into the room and you’ve got these stuffed animals, and the smile that they put out, it just lights up the room. It really touches you and it’s something you never forget.
KDKA-TV’s Ross Guidotti: A lot easier than dealing with some irate ballplayer?
Scott: Well, they’re not usually smiling.
One of the umpires at the event was Jerry Meals. He’s the umpire that took some heat over a controversial call which ended a 19-inning game between the Pirates and Braves last month.
He did not want to talk about the game, but he is a Butler County native and he said Children’s Hospital and the kids there mean a lot to him.