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  • Town Ball Umpire Hopes Patio Crowd Insults Him ‘Just To Feel Something’

    RandBalls Stu

    Dan’s Bar & Grill in New Trier, Minnesota resumed outdoor service this week. David Petersen can’t wait for his Saturday reservation.

    Image courtesy of Flickr/mark6mauno

    “I hope someone yells at me,” said Petersen. “I miss it so much.”

    The longtime town ball and Legion ball umpire says that, with summer baseball not happening across the state, he finds himself yearning for the screams and verbal abuse heaped upon him by players and fans alike.

    “There’s nothing like being behind home plate, the sun setting in the rural Minnesota sky, tie game, you call a clear strike a ball, and people start saying “I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE DAVE YOU [EXPLETIVE] [EXPLETIVE],’” said Petersen. “Sometimes their kids say it with them. There’s nothing like it in the


    The Hastings native says he made his reservation for as late in the day on Saturday as he could.

    “I figure some of the guys might be a little tuned up, be a little more confrontational about me observing that their foot is over the imaginary line when they’re throwing bags,” said Petersen. “He’ll get in my face and his girlfriend will yell at me for being an idiot and at Dwayne for causing a ruckus. I can smell the Mich Golden Light and Skoal on their breath. Just like old times.”

    Petersen hopes to clear up some misconceptions with patrons willing to chat with him at a social distance.

    “For one thing, I have perfect 20/20 vision, despite a campaign in the city of Jordan to declare me legally blind and the Carver County Attorney charging me with roasting and eating my guide dog.

    “For another, my mother is not nearly as sexually promiscuous as the Minnetonka Millers baseball team has repeatedly claimed. She has been married to my father for 47 years. She did not invent herpes, contrary to both the Diane Petersen Herpes Outreach Group on Facebook and the ‘DIANE PETERSEN: INVENTOR OF HERPES, MOTHER OF DAVE’ billboard in the New Ulm area.”

    Petersen says if he has a hard time getting the other patrons going, he has a failsafe.

    “I’m wearing a blue shirt, black pants, and black shoes already. But just in case, I’m bringing a mask and chest protector. It’s like a magnet for guys who peaked in high school and chronic red asses. I can’t wait.”

    Image license here.


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    I coached basketball for 17 years. Got talked into refereeing once. The big difference was I went from having 50% of the fans calling me an idiot to 100% of the fans calling me the same thing and worse.


    Hats off to the guys and gals who have the dedication and courage to officiate any sport. There'd be no games without you.

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