Facing the Crowd


Jeanne Messier from Massachusetts asks:

Why does the umpire face the fans when cleaning off home plate?

There is no rule requiring the umpire to face the crowd when cleaning off home plate but it is a lot more practical to do it this way then from behind the plate. If you are behind the plate when you attempt to clean it off then you sometimes need to reach around the catcher or ask him to move. When cleaning off the plate while facing the crowd you have no one to compete for space with and it gives the umpire a discreet way to face the catcher if he needs to talk to him about something and feels like he needs to talk to him face to face. It also gives the catcher some room and some time to get resituated after getting hit by a foul ball.

Answered by: Jonathan Bravo
Keywords: Umpiring

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