Sunday, September 9, 2007

1951 Umpires

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor [from Feb. 23/51]
There will be one familiar face missing when the Western International League opens its baseball season this year. Gone will be that little stocky man in blue, "Doc" Riegel [sic], storm center of that well-remembered controversy at Wenatchee last season. In case you've forgotten our Tri-City Braves were playing there that particular time and Doc was working the bases. First he made, what the Chiefs' fans thought was a bad call at second when Al Spaeter was going down to that base.
Within a few minutes Neil Bryant was involved in a play at third which once again Wenatchee fans figured was called against them. As a result their tempers got out of control and cushions, bottles and whatever was handy was pelted in the general direction of Riegel. The local sportscaster there at that time got so carried away that he started shouting invectives at Riegel. As a result the whole press box got orders from the president of the league on what to do should any future incidents of that sort occur.
That was "Doc" Riegel. He's gone, and we'll miss him. We're glad to say though that Nels Pearson and Art Jacobs will be on the circuit. They make a great pair, call a good game, and besides all that, are keen students of the game. Another umpire who will be returning is Iavocetti, (Yak-a-vetty). Now if you like your umpiring with a dash of color heres one who will
fill the bill. No question about what's going on at the plate when he's back there. And if it's a close foul ball down the line he follows it halfway to third or first base before he starts swinging his arm vigorously at foul territory.

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