Being a Baseball Umpire Is a (Very) Painful Job (VIDEOS)

John HirschbeckYou could look at the life of umpire John Hirschbeck two ways. Either he's one supremely unlucky dude. Or taking a ball to the nuts twice in a matter of weeks is just a milestone he had to pass to ensure his place in annals of baseball history.

Something tells me Hirschbeck, who took a baseball to the family jewels during a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this month, then got a foul tip to the groin AGAIN on Sunday's matchup of the Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals, would rather be marked down as a guy who's called three World Series and two All-Star Games. But being a home plate umpire means standing in the line of fire. You haven't really made it until you're doubled over in pain, grabbing at the gonads. Take a look:


Jim Joyce may be known best as the umpire who blew Armando Galarraga's chance at a perfect game with his bad call during the 2010 season, but Tigers fans can take comfort in knowing he got his comeuppance during a game between the Oakland A's and Cleveland Indians this past May:

Proving that the big leagues aren't the only place umpires deal with big pain, an ump went down during last year's Little League World Series. Who says kids can't bring the big heat?

Balls aren't the only things these guys have to steer clear of. Umpire Chad Fairchild proved micing the ump isn't always the best option when he screamed out "son of a b--ch" after being hit in the head by David Ortiz's bat in Fenway Park earlier this month:

And in case you need proof that Hirschbeck really belongs in this "club," how about a look at how he earned his stripes over the weekend:

Are you suddenly looking at the baseball umps in a whole different light? I know I am!


Image via YouTube

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