PITTSBURGH -- A familiar name to Pirates fans because of his role in ending a 19-inning game between the Pirates and Braves nearly three weeks ago, Jerry Meals is in Pittsburgh as part of the umpiring crew assigned to this week's Pirates-Cardinals series.
This marks Meals' first trip to Pittsburgh since ruling that Pirates catcher Michael McKenry did not tag Atlanta's Julio Lugo on a swipe attempt in the 19th inning of a July 26 game. The safe call gave the Braves a 4-3 win in a game that was the longest in franchise history (in terms of time) for both clubs. Since Meals' call, the Pirates are 3-15.
Assigned to umpire at first base on Monday, Meals should be behind the plate on Tuesday. Umpires rotate clockwise around the bases during a series.
While Meals will likely hear some jeers from those in the stands, his trip to Pittsburgh will also include some time spent giving back to the community. Meals and the rest of the umpiring crew will be at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh on Tuesday to host a Build-A-Bear workshop for children with cancer or other serious illnesses and injuries. The event is one of many initiatives by Major League Baseball's UMPS CARE Charities.