MLB Umpires Step Off The Diamond And Into The Hearts Of Kids Fighting Illnesses

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been said the best officiating in sports goes unnoticed. That may be true on the field, but umpires for Major League Baseball may just do some of their best work off the diamond.

Mary Bubala takes a look at the calls they made at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center on Wednesday.

The first sign major league umpires are in the hospital had to be sighting the Orioles bird, who came to Hopkins with the guys who make the calls at all the Orioles games.

The umpires are part of a non-profit organization to touch the lives of children coping with serious illnesses. They visit hospitals across the country during the down time they have between games.

“Their smile brushes off on you and you get a chance to catch their enthusiasm because they’re able to keep a smile throughout everything and it’s inspiring,” said Jeff Nelson, MLB umpire.

The Orioles bird connects with the little ones, as the umpiring crew working Wednesday’s Orioles-Rays game hosts a Build-A-Bear Workshop for children being treated at Hopkins.

For the young patients, it’s a much needed break from treatment to focus on something fun. For 17-year-old Matsie Bosmans, it’s a break from cancer treatment. She’s in week 19 out of 54.

“It’s really amazing, because otherwise she’s in her room all day. This is a long day of treatment. This is the first of five days in a row of chemo, so it’s nice to start the treatment out like this,” said Gambol Bosmans, parent. “It’s really nice to see her just relaxing and not thinking about what’s coming up.”

The umpires teamed up with Bristol Myers-Squibb and the Orioles to make this day happen at Hopkins.

MLB umpires have hosted 97 children’s hospital events across the country since the program began in 2006.

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