It's not too often when baseball umpires are the ones bringing the smiles to the faces of the fans. But that's exactly what happened at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center on Tuesday.
The Major League umpiring crew working the Orioles-Nationals series this week made a visit to Hopkins to host a Build-A-Bear workshop with kids at the hospital.
“I know what it's like to have a kid who's not feeling well, that's sick. Brothers, sisters, it effects everybody,” said Major League Umpire Crew Chief Ted Barrett. “So if we can bring a little sunshine to that day, then that's great.”
This is all part of Umps Care charities, which is a non-profit founded by Major League Baseball umpires to help sick children around the country.
“I've been in the hospital since Saturday,” said 17-year-old Hopkins patient Kaylee Kimbell. “They came down. I've been in my room. So it's a nice break from being in your room all the time.”
“It makes us feel good,” said Barrett. “We go out every day, we umpire, we're in a different city every day. Sometimes like groundhog’s day over and over. So this really is a chance to get out into the communities we work in.”
The men in blue can't get away from taking a little grief.
“Some of the kids that are baseball fans say 'Hey I watched the game the night before. You made a bad call against my team.’ That's all part of the job.
You can bet no one was arguing balls and strikes on Tuesday.