The game was tied, the crowd was on its feet and the players crossed their fingers as a runner slid into home plate. Was he safe? Was he out? No one knew… except for Brody Moller.
Brody has been umpiring for Ojai Valley Little Baseball for nearly four years, starting at age 11.
He started playing baseball at the age of seven and is a spirited player to this day. Brody’s dedication is shown equally on and off the field.
“I like umpiring because it just keeps me connected to baseball, it keeps me connected to the game,” Brody explained. “I’ve love[d] baseball for as long as I can remember.”
An umpire enforces the rules of the game, makes judgment calls on plays, handles disciplinary actions, and officiates the game.
“I make all the calls, keep the game moving, keep parents and coaches at bay, and make sure things don’t get out of hand,” Brody said.
Normally the athletes are respectful of calls made by umpires, but occasionally players take out their anger on the umpires when a call is made that they don’t like. For example, the Fillmore vs Goleta where an athlete cursed at Brody.
Disrespect from players is uncommon because umpires must go through training procedures to become a licensed ump.
Brody attended a clinic held by Ojai Little League to become an official umpire.
“Ojai Valley Little League hosted a clinic that I went too, and I got certified,” Brody said. “Jeff Mendoza,[sophomore] Derek [Mendonza]’s dad, was actually the one who taught me how to be an umpire.”
Brody began umpiring for athletes seven and eight years old. When he got to high school, he could umpire for kids up to thirteen years old.
“My favorite part about umpiring is seeing the growth and development of how kids continue to play this game” Brody explained.
Umpiring does not only serve as community service, a connection to baseball, and a learning experience. It also serves a sentimental purpose.
“I see myself in those kids,” Brody said. “It makes me remember when I was in little league and developing a love for baseball.”
Many of the little league athletes look up to Brody and admire him greatly.
“They respect me” he explained.
Not only is Brody appreciated by the Little League athletes, he is also valued by the parents, coaches, and more. Brody’s mother, Marisa Moller, gets to see this perspective.
“Both Brody’s dad and I get so many compliments about how he’s so professional, really kind to all the kids, and makes a clean game,” Mrs. Moller said. “We’re all so proud of him.”
Brody’s expertise of baseball is evident to everyone that watches him umpire.
“He loves baseball and knows so much about it, and it’s visible to all the people around him,” Mrs. Moller said.
Beyond just athletic skill, an athlete’s character is what sets them apart from other competitors; a strong love and enthusiasm for the sport is the key to success.
Brody Moller, in all aspects, demonstrates the passion and devotion that is needed to be great.Share