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10-Year-Old Noah Fogg Returns to PawSox as Youngest Umpire

Noah Fogg and his older brother Ian, Photo Credit: Brendan McGair

The PawSox take on Rochester in a doubleheader Friday, June 7th starting at 5:00pm ET on YurView, Cox channels 4 and 1004 in Rhode Island.

Last summer, Noah Fogg celebrated being declared cancer free by taking a victory lap around the bases at McCoy Stadium. Fans stood and showered Fogg with applause while the youngster high-fived players and coaches from the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings.

This past Sunday morning, Fogg was back at McCoy for yet another special moment – this one of the behind-the-scenes variety.

The three-person umpiring crew working that afternoon’s Pawtucket-Syracuse contest hosted 10-year-old Noah, his older brother Ian, and their mother Heather. The get-together was arranged by the Tomorrow Fund, which supports kids battling cancer at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and their families, and UMPS CARE Charities, which is the official philanthropy of Major League Baseball umpires. This season marks the first time that all Triple-A Minor League Baseball umpires (International League and Pacific League) are participating, with all 30 Triple-A teams supporting this special cause.

“Our umpires love bringing the magic of baseball to kids, and Noah and his brother Ian are fans of the game,” said Amy Rosewater, UMPS CARE marketing manager. “This was a great way for Noah and his family to spend time together, not thinking about cancer treatment and doctor’s appointments. It was all about fun at the ballpark.”

Photo Credit: Brendan McGair

For roughly half an hour, the Foggs, who live in Exeter. R.I., were afforded the chance to rub elbows with umpires John Bacon, Mike Wiseman, and Richard Riley, who were all generous with their time.

The family was escorted to the umpire’s room, located near the first-base gate. Upon knocking on the door, the Foggs were greeted by three smiling and eager umpires who invited them to step inside their quarters.

Gift bags courtesy of the PawSox were waiting for Noah – diagnosed with leukemia when he was just two-years-old – and Ian. As the brothers sat on a couch, the umpires took two fitted hats from their locker stalls and handed them to Noah and Ian. They were the same exact hats that the umpires wear when they’re making calls on the field.

Photo Credit: Brendan McGair

The brothers were invited to put the umpire gear on, from the chest protector to the facemask. A catcher on his Little League team, Noah knows the importance of working closely with the home-plate umpire.

“We thought this would be a good opportunity for him, since he’s behind the plate every game. This is a side of the game that he really understands,” said Heather Fogg. “When it comes to baseball and catching, he’s very passionate.”

Before every game, baseballs that will be used are transformed from shiny pearls that are too slick for the pitcher’s liking. Baseball rubbing mud that comes from Delaware is applied, a task that was deputized to Noah and Ian.

Video Credit: Brendan McGair

The umpires then asked if Noah wanted the chance to play the role of the game’s arbitrator by making “safe” and “out” calls at first base. The youngster wasted no time in acknowledging in the affirmative.

With one of the umpires (Wiseman) flipping the baseball to the umpire standing at first base (Riley), the ump slated to work home plate that day (Bacon) stood alongside one of the Fogg brothers while the other brother attempted to beat the throw. “You’re out!” calls that day were made with great emphasis.

With roughly an hour to go before first pitch, the Fogg family concluded the first-ever UMPS CARE event at McCoy by posing for a picture with the umpires. It was a fitting conclusion to a get-together that offered the chance to see a side of the game that isn’t privy to many.

“We really enjoyed meeting these two guys here,” said Riley.

Asked if he had a great time, Noah smiled and nodded.

“He’s still in remission. He’s happy and healthy,” noted Heather.

And now, thanks to another memorable outing at McCoy Stadium, Noah Fogg has a better understanding of what it takes to be a professional umpire.

The PawSox take on Rochester in a doubleheader Friday, June 7th starting at 5:00pm ET on YurView, Cox channels 4 and 1004 in Rhode Island.