DENVER — Joey Plaster absolutely crushed the baseball to left field. Connor Gray, on first base after a fielder’s choice, took off for home at top speed; he rounded third and found an unexpected surprise awaiting him.
What, or, more accurately, who was waiting for him was home plate umpire Dwight Nichols. The man in charge of calling the balls and strikes had ventured up the third-base line inexplicably to make a call that wasn’t necessarily his to make with a three-man umpiring crew on the field.
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