(Original title: “An umpire takes abuse, all in fun”)
With an “I Am Blind” sign at his feet and a dunce cap on his head, here sits Northwestern League umpire August Moran in a wicker chair somewhere near the site of his many decisions and transgressions: Dugdale Park’s home plate. Augie is covered with flowers and the kind of vegetables one might toss at an umpire before being also thrown from the bleachers.
Included with the veggies was one diamond charm, courtesy of the 1912 Rooter’s Club for the Seattle Giants. Of all the umpires available for this happy “Umpire’s Day” abuse, Moran was chosen as the year’s victim. And the response was so lavish that Augie himself, who by the 1912 season had been making “instant decisions about the infinitesimal” for many years, some of them in the majors, pronounced it the “biggest of its kind ever pulled.”
Behind Moran is probably a row of head Rooters and perhaps batboys, and on the nearby horizon the original south facade of the now-century-old Washington Hall at 14th Avenue and Fir Street.
Originally the Danish Hall, it was built in 1908, one year after Daniel Dugdale opened this, his first namesake park in 1907 between Yesler Way and Fir Street and 12th and 13th avenues. The Giants were so popular that after only seven years here Dugdale moved them to a new stadium in the Rainier Valley, the first double-decker on the West Coast.
Speaker of this day was future Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson. Hanson noted in his remarks, “Mr. Moran, we realize the hardship and difficulties of your position . . . Every nearsighted, half-blind fan who has hard work to read his daily paper believes he sees better than the umpire.”
And from a different perspective: