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The third team on the field knew no one could come to relieve them. And they knew that no one was going to give them a break.
The Lehigh Valley Men's Baseball League is thanking the Bethlehem Umpires Association for officiating a full slate of MSBL games on Sunday in a heat index approaching 110 degrees.
The temperatures drew an excessive heat warning from the National Weather Service and set a record for a July 1 in the Lehigh Valley.
The umpires covered 25 games on Sunday, plus five more on Saturday, which wasn't a cool day either.
Yes, the umpires go out on the field in pads just like the catcher. No, they don't get to take the pads off. No, they don't get to sit in the shade every other half inning.
And there's no calling for a substitution. Only two umpires are at each game and they're required for every inning. If they begin to feel overwhelmed by the heat, there aren't really any alternatives.
Temperatures often also lead to tempers, another layer of difficulty the umpires manage on a scorching day.
And the BUA managed it all this weekend.
For these reasons and more, the MSBL extends a heartfelt thank you to the Bethlehem Umpires Association for the dedication it makes to ensure that our 40 teams and more than 700 players have the opportunity to play baseball.