Owensboro baseball umpire speaks out about mid-game assault
Craig Crawford was able to return to calling games on Tuesday
OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - An Owensboro baseball umpire is reliving the night he was punched and knocked out in the middle of a little league game.
Officials say 30-year-old Glendle Cain is being charged with assault of a sports official and alcohol intoxication after hitting an umpire last week.
They say Cain was attending the game to watch his child play at the time.
The injured umpire, Craig Crawford says he’s been calling games for a long time.
On Tuesday, Crawford was able to return to the field to call games again.
He was welcomed back by the community, and kids and parents both shared their appreciation for him.
“I’ve been doing this so long, I’m out here for these kids,” Craig Crawford says.
Crawford says he remembers the night being like any other when he was calling the game. He also remembers Cain being upset.
“This gentleman was not happy with the call, but he wasn’t necessarily upset with me. He was upset with the coaches for the opposing team,” Crawford said.
Crawford remembers very little after that. Parents and fans tell him that Cain came across the field.
That’s when Crawford says he intervened, and the next thing he remembers is lying on the ground being tended to by a nurse who came out of the stands.
“EMS said ‘Craig we’re going to have to take you to the hospital, we think you have a broken jaw,’” Crawford recalled. “I was like broken jaw, what are you talking about. So I reached up and was like oh my goodness.”
Luckily nothing was broken. Doctors told Crawford he would be bruised and sore.
Crawford says a sweet surprise from the game on Field two is helping him feel better.
He was also invited to practice this weekend.
“As I was walking towards the field, a 7-year-old walked up to me he goes, ‘are you Mr.Craig?’ I said yeah,” Crawford said. “‘He goes I’m super glad you’re ok.’ He reached up and gave me a big hug.”
“Tears were running down, I was like oh my goodness,” Crawford continued. “Next thing I know they bring all these homemade cards, get well cards, thank you cards. Just making sure that I was ok.”
He says unfortunately the shortage of officials has much to do with parents, fans and players.
“Us officials, we’re human, we make mistakes, will we get the call right every time, no,” Crawford said.
He says after over 20 years calling games, this won’t keep him away from the job he loves.
“I’m doing good, just a little sore, a little bruised. Again I’ll be out there next week, can’t put this old man down,” Crawford said.
Crawford also wants to thank all those who were there to support him and take care of him that night, and says he will be back out there behind home plate Tuesday night.
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