Chip Googe jokes that his day job sometimes proves helpful in his avocation. The Mount Pleasant police officer and Summerville resident is umpire-in-chief for Summerville’s Little League program.
When parents or coaches get out of hand, the idea is to defuse the situation. Googe said he tries to let them vent and then offers an explanation.
“Once you do that more and more and realize it’s not a personal attack, it just washes off your back,” Googe said. And that’s something he tries to instill in his younger umpires, that they are in charge of the field and the person everyone is looking to for decorum.
“You have to maintain that professionalism, that calmness, and I think it makes (younger umpires) grow up in the way they deal with things,” Googe said.
He said the Summerville Little League is seeking adult volunteer umpires. The umpires have to pass a background check. An umpiring clinic will be 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. March 2 at 505 W. Boundary St. Googe and other leaders will go over rules, techniques and situations that may come up during games. The season begins March 16.
Googe said junior umpires ages 14-17, are paid $20 a game, but he is seeking adult volunteers, which will help save money. If volunteer coaches have youngsters participating in Little League, they will refund the child’s registration fee once the umpire handles a certain number of games. As they progress, Summerville will purchase umpiring gear for them.
Tyler Jones and twin brother Austin, both seniors at Fort Dorchester, have been umpiring since the age of 15 and next year plan to attend the Wendelstedt Umpire School in Florida with hopes of getting a shot at umpiring professional baseball.
“I played Little League baseball since I was 5 years old,” Tyler Jones said. “I thought I knew baseball as a player, but when I started umpiring, I saw it from a totally different perspective.”
Tyler Jones, a senior at Fort Dorchester High School, crouches behind the plate while umpiring a Summerville Little League baseball game.×
Tyler Jones umpires from behind the plate, while his twin brother, Austin, makes calls from the field during a Summerville Little League baseball game.×
Kyle Suesser is the umpire behind the plate during a Summerville Little League baseball game.×