OT: Steve and the Palermos

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OT: Steve and the Palermos

Postby turkeyman » Tue May 16, 2017 2:35 pm

News came this morning of the death of Steve Palermo, the American League umpire shot in 1991 trying to stop a robbery in Dallas. He has paralyzed by the bullet and never called another game, though MLB made a spot for him as a supervisor of umps. Some say he was the best balls-and-strikes umpire of his time.

His brother, John Palermo, is a women's basketball referee. He works out of Central Massachusetts and calls a few UMaine women's games each year. He also officiates DII and DIII and other conferences than America East.

John Palermo at his best may be the best official I have seen. He has called the Final Four, though not recently, I believe. He is best described as "fully engaged" during a game. He cranes his neck (not unlike a plate umpire trying to get closer to the strike zone) to get a better view of the play. I have never seen him trail a play he should be leading (fast break) or noticed him out of position. He is very good at letting the official with the best view of the play make the call, even when he blew the whistle first.

If Steve Palermo was as good an umpire as John is a wbb official, he was a terrific ump. It is probably instructive that the death announcement was made by George Brett, who, like Steve Palermo, lives in Kansas City and may have objected to some of Steve Palermo's calls over the years. Condolences to Steve Palermo's family.

Bob Neal
New Sharon
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