The Times West Virginian

Sports

June 21, 2013

Ronnie Whiting makes leap to minors as an umpire

FAIRMONT — Every kid has a dream of making it to the big leagues.

It’s the bottom of the ninth. Bases are juiced and your team is down by two runs. Sweat is dripping down your face, your legs are trembling, you’re feeling sick like you’re going to throw up.

The wait is over; the pitcher throws a curveball that bites at the last minute.

All of a sudden you realize you’re standing in your backyard and it’s not real life; it is wiffle ball.

You get that elusive clutch hit, and then you think you have a shot of becoming something someday — you’re going to be a star — everyone from your local newspaper to the news station reports on your games.

Then you blink and you’re in your 20s. Your athletic career is over and it’s time to step up to the plate and become an adult.

Right? Well, maybe. But if you can’t reach your goals as an athlete, why not approach the same goals on the other side?

For Fairmont Senior graduate Ronnie Whiting, that’s what he did. He always dreamt about becoming a Major League Baseball phenom.

He thought he would be playing third base in Alex Rodriguez’s spot next to Derek Jeter with the New York Yankees, but scouts didn’t come knocking and his baseball career was over.

That’s when the 28-year-old decided to pursue baseball from another angle — the opposite side of the fence — by becoming an umpire.

 

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