Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/438

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I do not mean that he must have education or culture. The best umpire in the National League would not shine as a scholar in a gathering of college professors. But he could outclass the entire faculty of any university in America in promptly and quickly deciding the fine points of a game of Base Ball, and that because he has the peculiar quality of intelligence required for his duties. The rules in vogue for the government of our national pastime are not so numerous that one of ordinary acumen may not be able to acquire them. However, the acquisition of information and the ability to apply it are two very different things. One may have the capacity to commit the rules so thoroughly to memory that he can repeat them forward or backward, in the order of their setting or any other order, and such freakish accomplishments may only serve to unfit him for the duties of umpire, for they may overwhelm him with an "embarrassment of riches" along the line of multiplied rules which he has no talent to apply.

He must be honest. A crooked umpire at a ball game is as offensive as a scoundrelly jurist on the bench. His power to beget disgust for the sport is even greater than that of the judge to bring the law into reproach. The umpire does not deal with unfamiliar, abstruse, legal technicalities, whose veiled meaning needs to be explained by the citations of other judges in other cases in other courts. He must hand down his decision instanter before an audience composed of hundreds who know Base Ball law as well as he—or who think they do.

He must be absolutely without prejudice. Did you