Sunday, October 23, 2011
Nearly three dozen umpires donated some of their earnings to help a fellow umpire during a time of need.
"Umpires are like a baseball team. We're a team. We're a fellowship," said Dwight Ritter, chief umpire of the Southwest Boys Club.
It was the team that came together to help raise $1,000 for one of their injured umpires, Jeremy Kessler.
"It really made me feel good. It just solidified what I've always known about that group of guys, that we're a fraternity. We're an organization. We're behind each other all the time," said Ritter.
On Sunday morning, Jeremy thought he was going out to the complex to umpire a little league baseball game. Instead, he was surprised and honored by his brothers in blue.
"Made me realize that we all stick together. We care for one another and help each other out. I don't think I could do it without my guys in blue," said Jeremy.
He suffered third degree burns to his body during the Global Propane explosion on August 2nd. One of his co-workers died in the blast that destroyed four homes and a business.
"When he was injured in the explosion, few of us went up and visited him in the hospital. Of course we could tell that he was down, worried about things. He just started the job over there," said Ritter.
That worry prompted his fellow team to raise funds to help him. Many of the umpires donated the $35 they earn each game toward the Jeremy Kessler Fund.
"It'll help us get back on track through the hard times. I can get back on my feet and be out here for high school ball and summer ball again," said Jeremy.
The men in blue are waiting for Jeremy to make a full recovery and return to the field.