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College baseball umpire Reggie Drummer made a controversial call earlier this month on a strike three pitch. The moment went viral since the pitch was clearly outside the strike zone and ended the game.
In a matchup between Mississippi Valley State and New Orleans, Drummer rang up MVSU hitter Davon Mims on a pitch well outside of the zone. On the pitch just before, Mims argued with Drummer about strike two.
Drummer’s call on strike three looked like it was about more than just calling balls and strikes. It looked to be bigger than Mims’ complaints, too.
The Southland Conference subsequently suspended Drummer, but he has since returned to umpiring.
Now, Drummer is speaking out and says there was a lot going on during the game that people watching the viral moment on the Internet did not see or hear.
Drummer appeared on “The Plate Meeting” podcast for Close Call Sports. On the show, he says he faced constant criticism from Mississippi Valley State players, coaches and fans, who accused him of favoring New Orleans because more of their players are white.
Drummer is black and says he heard MVSU — a Historically Black College and University — fans saying he wasn’t “one of [them].”
“By the third inning, that’s when I started hearing stuff that I was [podcast censored] for the white man. That I was helping UNO. And that UNO don’t need no help,” Drummer said.
“Somebody said, ‘he’s not one of us.’ And that’s when [MVSU head coach Milton Barney’s] brother said, ‘no, he’s not a real [n-word].'”
Drummer explains that he went to New Orleans’ head coach Blake Dean and asked that Barney’s brother be ejected.
Because New Orleans was the home team, they were responsible for the fans in the crowd, even though the fan issues were on the Mississippi Valley State side.
“I said, ‘Blake, I don’t mind fans chirping, that’s part of baseball. But I don’t go with cheating, and I don’t go with racism. Racial slurs are being thrown, they’re being said.'”
Drummer says that Barney’s brother was ejected during the proceeding half-inning but continued to yell at him as he was escorted out, including telling Drummer that he would “be back tomorrow [for the next game].”
Problems continue for Reggie Drummer even after ejection
Later in the game, there was a controversial play at second base. Mississippi Valley State thought it got an out because the umpire (not Drummer) initially called the runner out on a force play.
However, Dean came out of his dugout to argue the call and Drummer said he immediately called a conference with his crew to discuss the play.
After discussion, they determined that the fielder’s foot was off the base and the New Orleans runner was safe. Drummer said even MVSU’s catcher previously agreed that the fielder’s foot was off the base.
At that point, Barney came out of the MVSU dugout to argue the call reversal. He then implied that Drummer was favoring the white manager over him.
“He said, ‘look at you. You’re one of us,'” Drummer said of Barney’s comments. “That’s when he was implying that as a black guy, I should be helping them win.
“If you look at the game, that’s when you see me throw my hands [up] like ‘hey man, that’s enough, we’re not going down that route.’
“By that time, everybody on Mississippi Valley State’s side is just giving me the business about how I’m helping UNO cheat. And that’s when I heard that I’m ‘Uncle Tom’ and all this stuff,” Drummer continued.
“I’m not upset. I’m more hurt because I’m getting all this from my people when I know I’m calling a good game, I’m calling a fair game.”
Drummer notes that he ejected two Mississippi Valley players during the game for using foul language and arguing calls. He also told Bradley to control his team and says Bradley said, essentially, that it wasn’t his problem.
Viral strike three comes after hours of verbal abuse from MVSU players, coaches and fans toward umpire
When discussing the viral strike three call that ultimately gained national attention, Reggie Drummer said he was basically fed up and wanted to get off the field. He also said he regrets the strike three call.
“I was hurt. And, before the last pitch even happened, I know the guy jumped up and down, I should have given him a warning for that. Then, I should have ejected him when he pointed,” Drummer said.
“But by this time, my lapse of judgment is through the roof because I was sitting here saying, ‘I can’t believe my own people have treated me like this for three hours.’ And I said to myself … ‘I feel like I’m on an island [and] I just want to get out of here.'”
He said he had decided, at that point, he was going to call the next pitch a strike to end the game.
“I never meant for it to look like it was on purpose,” Drummer said. “I called a bad pitch, which I regret, I apologized for doing that, but I just wanted to get out of a hostile environment because I’ve never been in a situation like that.
“Have I been in hostile environments? Yes. Because fans are going to chirp, fans are going to be fans. But never with racism involved. Never.
“I wasn’t trying screw that kid, I wasn’t trying to say ‘Valley, up yours.’ No. My whole deal was I’m beat to death and I just want to get to the locker room.”
Drummer said that if he could do it over again, he’d have ejected all of the players and fans causing problems. If that meant MVSU didn’t have enough players to continue the game, then so be it.
OutKick has reached out to Mississippi Valley State for comment and will update this story if they respond.
You can watch the entire interview here:
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak
3 CommentsLeave a Reply
Racism is still alive in both colors
There was a non partisan study done not long ago that determined that black people are the most bigoted race towards other races than any other ethnic group and it’s not even very close.
Why not be a victim…..when you can be The Victim!……Yawn.