It’s stories about Little Leaguers that cause me to hearken back to my own younger days and the things that I love most about baseball. The freshly-mowed grass, the sound of the bat hitting the ball, the law firm of Moscowitz & Moscowitz filing writs with the law firm of McCready & Schwartz. And now, following our National Anthem and the reading of the injunction, let’s play ball.
(Hey kid in the back adjusting your hat, way to seize your moment of fame)
A controversial (which usually means completely stupid and unwarranted) call in a West Virginia Little League All-Star game has caused the mother of one of the 10-year-old players, who is an attorney, to file an injunction and halt the tournament. Bridget Furbee, mother of Bridgeport player Tanner Furbee (above, far left in front), sought an injunction in Kanawha County Circuit Court to stop the championship game, after an umpire disallowed a home run by her son’s team due to an interference call.
The all-star tournament in question was in the 9-10 year-old division, which is one notch down from the age group in which the winners end up in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The 9-10s can only go as far as state championship play, which is where this incident occurred:
Bridgeport, the District 5 champion, thought it had taken a 7-5 lead in the top of the sixth inning on a two-out, two-run home run over the left-center field fence by Elijah Drummond. It was the boy’s first homer ever, Marra said.
Instead, Drummond was called out after the ball went over the fence. A base umpire declared there had been a case of “assisting the runner” and the homer was nullified.
The game remained at 5-5 through the regulation six innings, and after Bridgeport scored twice in the top of the seventh, South Charleston scored three in the bottom of the inning for an 8-7 victory.
“We tried to file a protest immediately after the runner (Drummond) was called out, but the umpires said it was not a protestable call, but a judgment call,” Marra said. “We found out afterward that that was not the case at all.”
The “assisting the runner” in question came when Furbee, the first-base coach, gave Drummond a double high-five as he approached first. Little League rules can be arcane and full of nonsensical exceptions, but in real baseball, it’s not interference if a base coach touches a runner after a home run. If that were the case, Bobby Thomson would have been called out about 12 times following his famous home run against the Dodgers in 1951. But it’s amusing that, A.) None of the four umpires at this game knew that, B.) That a league official wasn’t there to tell the umpire he was wrong, and C.) That you can file an injunction to halt a Little League tournament. “Umpire, I protest that play. You know my attorney, Mr. Dumont …”
It just goes to show that having parents who are lawyers is more important than having deep pitching.