Umpire Reggie Drummer was suspended by the Southland Conference earlier this month after he called a controversial third strike in the final inning of a game between New Orleans and Mississippi Valley State.
The now viral clip shows Mississippi Valley State outfielder Davon Mims taking offense to a bad second strike call on a fastball at his shins, causing him to jump out of the batter’s box and stomp around during an at-bat in the ninth inning. The 1–2 pitch was several feet outside over the opposite batting box, but Drummer appeared to retaliate because of Mims’s reaction on the pitch prior.
Drummer is now speaking out about the situation. During an appearance on The Plate Meeting podcast admitted that while he “regrets” the strike call, he knew the game needed to end due to the environment he was in.
Drummer, who is Black, revealed that he ejected two players earlier in the game and fans started yelling abusive and racist comments toward him during the contest.
“I called a bad pitch, which I regret,” Drummer said. “I apologize for doing that, but I just wanted to get out of a hostile environment because I’d never been in a situation like that.”
As for Mims, Drummer looks back and now admits he had a “lapse of judgment” during the player’s at-bat, once again because of the environment he was in.
“I should have ejected him when he pointed,” Drummer said, referring to Mims’s reaction after the second strike. “By this time, my lapse of judgment is through the roof because I was sitting here saying, ‘I can’t believe my own people have treated me like this for three hours.’ And I said to myself ... ‘I feel like I’m on an island and I just want to get out of here.’”
When asked if he could change anything about the situation, Drummer said he would’ve ejected more players and fans before the final inning in order to end the game sooner.
“If I could do it all over, the game probably wouldn't have finished because Valley wouldn’t have had enough players to be on the field,” Drummer said.
Drummer has since returned to umpiring after he missed the final two games of the series between New Orleans and Mississippi Valley State.