Watching old games has become the norm for sports fans in 2020. While this is...kind of a bummer, it does give us all a chance to brush up on our history. A replay of a game from the 1971 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles aired Sunday afternoon, and fans may have noticed something odd about the home plate umpire. Players are told to keep their emotions in check in baseball, yet this umpire showed off some serious flair on a strike-three call.
This is vintage MLB. The ump has the type of giant pad on his chest usually only seen in local little league games in modern times. Then comes the third strike. He waves his hands as if to say, "Get out of here!" and likely did so with a straight face.
Modern umpires don't show this type of personality, and that is a shame. We need more excitement like this, and it provides a new spot on the scale between a quick strike-three call, and the drama displayed by Leslie Nielsen in The Naked Gun.