As Pearland Little League players took the field for game three of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, so did someone else who’s been warming up for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at Lamade Stadium.
“This is the show for us umpires,” said Wayne Beaumier, who has umpired Little League for the last 25 years all over Houston.
Tuesday night, he called the Pearland-Iowa game from second base, one of his many games over the last week.
“You have to qualify to be here,” he said. “You have to actually qualify at regional, where you get a high enough score or do well enough to actually get your name put in.”
He’s waited three years to get to youth baseball’s biggest stage. The pandemic put it off. But this year is unlike any other for Beaumier, who lives in Cypress.
“This is the 75th year, the granddaddy. This is what all umpires in the league strive to come to, which is Williamsport,” he said.
The chance only comes around once. After one time here, umpires can only return as fans or if asked.
Even if they don’t act like it, they do hear some of the comments fans shout from the stands.
“Some of them are funny,” Beaumier said. “We actually write them down and compare the parents’ comments back in the umpire room and keep the funny ones.”
He showed KPRC 2 the tight quarters at Volunteer Stadium, next to legendary Lamade Stadium, where the crew of umpires gets ready for each game.
The opportunity to be in Williamsport is something he’ll never forget.
“It’s just to come here and give the kids what they’re asking for, like the local leagues, just qualified great umpires to call a great ball,” he said.
With Pearland’s win on Tuesday night, the team will play again Wednesday night against the Mid-Atlantic Region team from Hollidaysburg, Pa. They already beat the team 8-3 last week in front of a crowd of more than 18,000 people.