The umpire earns a save

An AP story on the Star Tribune site caught my eye, but the Las Vegas Review-Journal gives it the better headline: “MLB umpire earns save after rescuing woman on Pittsburgh bridge.” Here is the opening by Will Graves:

PITTSBURGH — John Tumpane can’t explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays.

So the 34-year-old Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go.

“It was just pure instinct,” Tumpane said . “You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times she wanted to go the other way. I was like, ‘not on my watch, please.’ We were just hanging on.”

And saving a life.

Beyond saluting John Tumpane, I want to let the whole touching story speak for itself while noting the backstory on AP reporter Will Graves here.

Quotable quote: “Once they were able to secure her, we were able to talk her back to help us out and we got her back on this side. After that I went up to her, she said, ‘You’ll just forget me after this’ and I said, ‘No, I’ll never forget you.’ This was an unbelievable day and I’m glad to say she can have another day with us and I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time.”

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