Umpire John Tumpane was walking through Pittsburgh before doing his job on the bases at PNC Park tonight for Pirates Rays game, when he saw a woman about to do the unthinkable.
This has got to be one of the most incredible baseball stories I’ve ever written. This isn’t something you see every day. It’s one of those stories that makes you wonder what you’d do if you were in the same situation. But on this day, John Tumpane came through as a hero.
He saw a woman climbing to the edge of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on the way back from his run & lunch downtown.
— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) June 29, 2017
The following story was originally posted on Pittsburgh’s Post Gazette
“Obviously, that grabbed my attention,” Tumpane said prior to the Pirates game against the Tampa Bay Rays, in which the 34-year-old Chicago native was the home-plate umpire. “I asked a couple in front of me, ‘What’s this lady trying to do?’ and they said, ‘I don’t know.’ ”
The bridge was mostly empty at that time of day. Tumpane rushed toward the woman, who appeared calm, and asking what was going on.
“I just wanted to get a better look of the city from this side,” she replied, according to the umpire’s recollection.
“Oh no,” Tumpane said, hooking his arm around hers. “You don’t want to do that. It’s just as good over here. Let’s go grab some lunch and talk.”
“No, no, no,” she answered. “I’m better off on this side. Just let me go.”
“I’m not going to let you go,” he said. “Let’s talk this out. We’ll get you back over here.”
“No one wants to help me,” she repeated. “Just let me go.”
“No, we’re here to help you.”
“You’ll forget me tomorrow.”
“I’ll never forget you,” he said. “You can have my promise on that.”
The story ends with paramedics on scene, assisting in the woman’s return to safety. All signs point to her being ok, at least physically. Hope she gets everything taken care of. I have no idea how John Tumpane goes about the rest of his day and umpires a game tonight. Major props to him for handling the situation so calmly and bravely. There’s no telling how tonight would’ve ended for the woman had the MLB umpire not taken action.