The Oceanside and Lincoln Academy softball teams were waiting to play in Thomaston last Friday but were missing one key ingredient: the umpires.
Apparently, there had been a misunderstanding and the umpires didn’t show up.
The game was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. but Oceanside coach Rusty Worcester said it was his understanding that the umpires were led to believe it was a 4:15 game.
Enter Eddie Parra.
The personable Parra, who is in his late 60s and has had an extensive and impressive career as a baseball and softball umpire, had come to watch the game and volunteered to be the home plate umpire.
The Appleton resident had some of his equipment in his vehicle and threw a jacket over his chest protector and called the game. A few innings into the game, he asked someone to go to his vehicle and bring him his ball bag.
Parra, who is a member of the Knox-Lincoln-Waldo Umpires Association’s Ethics Committee, received some help from former Rockland High School athletic director Brian Plourde and veteran umpire Dana Verge, who was in nearby Waldoboro.
Plourde umpired the bases for an inning until Verge showed up and finished the game on the bases.
The game, which started 30 or 40 minutes late, went off without a hitch.
The engaging Parra had a good-natured dialogue with each catcher and called a good game.
He reminded you a little of late basketball referee Tony Tammaro.
He wasn’t as animated as Tammaro but he was roughly the same size and you could tell his passion and love for the game was the same as Tammaro’s was for basketball.
Parra, Plourde and Verge turned what could have been a lost afternoon into an enjoyable one.
It was even more enjoyable for Oceanside, which beat Lincoln Academy 10-5.