Airman Bryce Dearing surprised his brother, Alex King, at the beginning of the last 2020 Fall Ball game held at Anderson Snow Sports Complex on Sunday, Nov. 22.
Bryce, who is scheduled to deploy out-of-country early next year, made it home for Thanksgiving, and with the help of manager Larry Marsh and both teams, Bryce was outfitted as an umpire, though with extra padding to help in the disguise, and with a large, red Polo shirt to cover it all.
He snuck out and stood behind Alex, who is a Junior Varsity catcher at Springstead High School. After watching a couple of practice pitches, Bryce said, “Your brother can throw better than you.”
Alex, a great supporter of umpires, said, “I know. But I’m just warming up.” He then stood to talk with this strange official, who looked like a red Hulk just starting to swell, before he rips through his clothes. But it wasn’t until Bryce removed his face gear that Alex reacted: “BRYCE?!”
Even though Alex’s team, the Dodgers, have won 14 out of the 15 games, lost 1-5 to the Reds, the day ended with another happy surprise. At the pavilion where the team received their awards, manager Larry Marsh gave a little speech about Alex: “When I met AK for the first time, I put him in as a pitcher, and he did okay. Afterwards, he came up to me and said, ‘Coach, I’m not a pitcher. I’m a catcher.’ Boy was he right. He is the best catcher in the entire league!”