ST. PAUL, MN (May 10, 2013) – An umpire will often say they know they’ve had a good game when nobody notices them. The St. Paul Saints have gone one step further. They are removing umpires from the game completely when they take on the Gary SouthShore Railcats.
The Saints “Umpireless Game” presented by Hamline University will take place on Saturday, May 11 at 7:35 p.m. In this unique twist the players on the field will make all their own calls. Catchers for each team will call balls and strikes while base runners and position players will make safe and out calls along with fair and foul. Just in case there are any disputes a judge and jury will be on hand to help out. A jury of both teams’ peers will settle disputes at first and third base and in case of a hung jury a judge in a robe, who will stand behind the pitcher’s mound, will have the final say. The Killebrew Box Seats, which are designated seating areas on the first and third base side at field level, will have 12 Little Leaguers in each area deciding plays on the base paths. The jury will be given signs that say “safe” or “out” and hold them up to make their decision known. The judge on the field will settle balls and strikes disputes along with any other plays the jury can’t make a decision on.
Instead of “Play Ball” hollered by an umpire, the judge will pound a gavel on home plate to signify the beginning of the game. The players on the field will not be the only ones who will have a judge and jury preside over the proceedings. Fans will have an opportunity to take their disputes to a “judge” that will be set up on the walkway in the main seating bowl of the stadium.
While umpires have arbitrated games since 1876 there has never been a game void of umpires. Networks use technology to define the strike zone and slo-mo instant replay is used to show viewers if runners are safe or out, but ultimately umpires have the final say. The Saints and Hamline University are using the rules of the courtroom for one day to decide everything on the diamond.
Hamline University is the top-ranked university in Minnesota in its class according to U.S.News & World Report has also been named a “best value” school. Founded in 1854, Hamline is also Minnesota’s first university, and among the first co-educational institutions in the nation.
“We respect all baseball umpires and believe this promotion will allow our ‘jurors’ and both teams to realize how important they really are to the game,” said Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Derek Sharrer. “This is something that has never been attempted before and I think it will make for an interesting and intriguing nine innings of baseball.”
The Saints and Railcats will play a 7:35 p.m. game at Midway Stadium with gates opening at 6:35 p.m. Tickets for Saints home games are $5 for general admission, $8 for outfield reserved and $12 for infield reserved. Tickets purchased on the Day of the Game are an additional $1 per ticket. Tickets to the July 6 and September 1 Fireworks Super Show are an additional $3. Children under the age of 14 and seniors 65 and older receive $1 off the admission price. Children under 2 that don't require a seat are free. Tickets are available by contacting the Saints ticket office at 651-644-6659 or visiting saintsbaseball.com.
About Hamline University
Small classes, top-ranked professors, and a spirit of collaboration distinguish the Hamline School of Law, where students are challenged to become competent, professional, and ethical lawyers with a global perspective.
Hamline University attracts a diverse group of nearly 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students who develop their passions working alongside professors invested in their success. Challenged to create and apply knowledge in local and global contexts, students develop an ethic of inclusive leadership and service, civic responsibility, and social justice. Hamline students are transformed in and out of the classroom to discover truths that shape the way they see and are able to change the world.