223 – Game Called because of Rain (Tough Call)
Cover illustration for Saturday Evening Post (April 23, 1949)
Oil on canvas
[NARRATOR] Now, you can’t play baseball if its raining, so these three umpires are out on the field trying to decide whether to stop the game. Look at the faces on them. To be an umpire you’ve gotta be pretty tough–they’re always arguing with baseball players who aren’t happy with the decisions they make. It’s kind of silly to see three big cranky umpires looking tough about a couple of rain drops like this.
But there’s more to the story. If you know something about baseball you can figure it out, like a mystery. Look over on the right side. See the guy in white? He’s all hunched over and looks like he’s drowning in a thunderstorm. But the guy next to him is pointing up at the sky saying, “Hey! It’s a beautiful day!” They’re the managers of the two teams.
Now, look all the way over in the left corner, near the bottom. See the scoreboard? It’s one to nothing. The drowning guy’s team is winning. The game has made it into the sixth inning. Now, in baseball, a game is official at the end of the fifth inning—so if they stop now, the drowning guy’s team wins. So he wants the umpires to stop the game now. The happy guy wants the game to keep going, so he can get a chance to score. Look up at the sky. Who do you think will get what they want?