THE SITUATION: Pitcher on pitching plate. She winds up and delivers a "pitch" straight down. It hits the pitching plate and rolls slowly ahead of her, eventually coming to a stop a few feet outside the pitching circle.
MY CALL: I make my "ball" call mechanic (maybe a bit quieter than normal) and play resumes.
Not much of an issue, I know, but it was certainly odd at the time.
Now, the fan story. Somewhere in the game, a player struck out swinging but the catcher dropped the ball. In fact, the catcher did not so much "drop" the ball as it just nicked her glove and went to the backstop. The runner took off for first, but the catcher threw her out easily.
Crazy Fan Lady decided that the batter (her daughter?) had fouled the ball off and should return to the plate. I didn't engage the fan but did shake my head at the batter as she returned to retrieve her bat and looked at me as if to say, "do I still get to stay up?" The Crazy Fan Lady shouted, loudly, "THASS OKAY HONEY I KNOW YOU FOULED IT OFF BUT THE UMPIRE IS WRONG MOMMY LOVES YOU."
Again, I did not engage the fan.
A few innings later, I got hit in my left hand (guard hand) three times. Right on the back of the hand. I still have the monkey bumps and bruises now. It just kept happening. When my base umpire came over to the plate between innings (not really supposed to, but he was a kid) I quietly showed him my wounds and said something like "look at this. I'm getting killed back here."
Crazy Fan Lady says, loudly, "Good!"
I must admit, I couldn't help but glance over at her with my eyes. I didn't turn my head, but I reflexively glanced at her. My base umpire said, rather loudly, "did you hear that?" I told him I had, and we should walk over to the other side of the plate. "It's all good. Let it go."
I've received my fair share of verbal abuse. Accusations of blindness, bias, ignorance, and so on. Every umpire has heard that kind of thing. But until this day, it had been universal that fans, players, and coaches sympathize when an umpire gets hurt.
Keep it classy, Canyon Country Little League. Keep it classy.
Be seeing you!