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Umpires no longer forced to wear cabbage leaves under hats

Jun 15, 2012, 6:52 PM EDT


Cooling technology has come a long way, apparently.

In an AP article about how umpires are keeping cool these days — apparently, it’s all about HTFx pads worn in vests — former ump and current MLB Director of Umpiring Randy Marsh talks about the hot old days:

When Marsh started working in the majors, there wasn’t much help with the heat. Teams would soak towels in cold ammonia water that umpires wrapped around their necks between innings. Cabbage leaves soaked in the water could be tucked under caps.

“I learned that from Paul Runge,” Marsh said. “He used to put cabbage leaves in the hat. He had me do it when I worked with him. I don’t know if I noticed it, maybe psychologically. But a lot of guys thought that it worked better than the sun beating on your head.”

It may have helped, but it sure wasn’t as stylish as tying an onion to one’s belt.

  1. dan1111 - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    A scientific study later showed that prolonged cabbage leaf exposure causes blindness.

    • cleverbob - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      I want to lobby for this story to be reposted on Monday morning, just so that you get full recognition for that comment.

      • dan1111 - Jun 15, 2012 at 9:45 PM

        Thanks, I appreciate that.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:57 PM

      You shouldn’t drink alcohol in excess when putting wet cabbage on your head.

    • Roger Moore - Jun 16, 2012 at 1:45 AM

      On a more serious note, getting overheated can seriously mess with your judgment and general brain function. Maybe part of the reason umpires have short fuses and make some really bad calls is because they’re operating at well under 100% from the heat. It would be interesting to see if there’s a correlation between game time temperature and frequency of ejections.

  2. sgtr0c - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Cause that’s what you did back in the day when you went to Shelbyville… Abe Simpson

  3. lar271 - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    I think the Vegan Lobbyists will have a field day over this one. 1/2 the Umpires are a bunch of cabbage heads anyway!

  4. mgv38 - Jun 15, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    After a nice dinner of Walking Bird, we played football,

  5. mgv38 - Jun 15, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    It was the fashion of the time.

  6. goawaydog - Jun 15, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    The only way i am putting cabbage on my head is if i drink in excess.

    Then again it would make a convenient and healthy between inning snack.

    • dan1111 - Jun 16, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      That is possibly the most disgusting comment of all time. Who wants to eat a wilted, smelly cabbage leaf infused with umpire head sweat?

  7. joshftw - Jun 15, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Of course, onions on the belt haven’t been popular either since nineteen-dickety.

  8. ndnut - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Back in Cole Hamels day you put cabbage leafs under your hat, your pits, your crotch and in your shoes and that is how everybody liked it!

  9. Roger Moore - Jun 16, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    I’ll point out that the old cabbage leaf in the hat trick was endorsed by none other than Babe Ruth, so it wasn’t just an umpire thing.

  10. twinsguy34 - Jun 16, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Years later he realized that is not what the guy meant when he said “You can put your weed in there”.

  11. blues1988 - Jun 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    still kills me every time i see that umpires name is randy marsh,

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