Michael J. Mackey
Most everyone has heard the phrase, "I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken." It must have been referring to Mike's umpire abilities, when asked if he had ever made a bad call, his response was, "No, never!"
Learning to be an excellent umpire in the Joliet area under the guidance of fellow umpires Mark Hall, Tim Johnson, Jerry Henry and Tom Seddon, led Mike to being chosen to umpire many state and national events at Rockford and Joliet during his 16-year career. His abilities later provided opportunities to umpire at World Series events at Fort Knox, Kentucky and Orlando, Florida.
Mike's strangest situation while umpiring occurred during the Women's Class B World Series, when a batter hit a basses loaded line drive up the middle to short centerfield. The fielder dove for the ball, but the attempt was ruled a trap by Mike's partner, who instantly signaled safe. The runners, however, held on all bases, resulting in the ball being thrown to third, second and first for a triple play!
When asked who some of the best players he had umpired were, he said, "Brian Schultz, Jim Cushing, Al Van Gampler and Dan Prater top his list."
Mike also acknowledges that his involvement with the USSSA has allowed him to travel around the country, have a lot of fun and meet many new friends. Tonight, it has allowed him to enter the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame as one of its finest umpires.