Save Your Knees and Back When Working Bases: Another Tip from Stubby

Jan 10th, 2013

I was able to attend a Triple-A baseball game this summer with MiLB and Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy's medical coordinator Mark "Stubby" Stubblefield.

He's provided many tips to help keep umpires safe and healthy that I've blogged about before.

Stubby, always full of wisdom, provided one more tip I wanted to pass along.

The tip is basically pretty simple.
Don't lock in too soon when umpiring the bases.

Anytime you bend over and put your hands on your knees, thus locking in, you add pressure on the knees and lower back. In the course of a 3 hour contest, you're going to do this more than a few hundred times.

Umpire Hands on Knees SetMiLB Umpire Charlie Tierney Locks In (Photo Credit: Jim Kirk)

So take it from Stubby, stay loose a little bit longer between pitches and minimize the added pressure by not locking in too soon.

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About the Author

Picture of Jim Kirk

President Jim Kirk

Jim is a leading expert, educator and author on umpire gear, safety & appearance. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire during the Elbeco shirt years. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought Ump-Attire.com in 2006, He eventually led it to the leading umpire gear & attire retailer worldwide and a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020. He maintains long-standing relationships with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy and the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO). He serves as an adviser to UMPS CARE Charities, the charity of MLB umpires, served as a 2-term board of director from 2012-2018, and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. A supporter since the inception of the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy, he was named to their Board of Directors in 2020.

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