Orioles: Ernie Tyler takes a seat
Longtime Orioles employee Ernie Tyler, who was featured in my column on the cover of today's print edition of the Sun has decided to retire after 50 seasons as the team's "ballboy," but will remain in his capacity as the Orioles umpire attendant. He also will continue to prepare the baseballs for each game.
Tyler indicated that the attention paid to his status this week prompted a family summit down here in Sarasota, during which he decided that his family's concern for his safety outweighed his desire to return to his position near the camera well alongside the Orioles dugout, where there is always risk of being drilled with a foul ball.
Ernie is in town visiting Jim and Fred Tyler, the Orioles home and visiting clubhouse managers, who convinced him to sit down last year after he underwent hernia surgery. He had hoped to return to his former role this season, but the father of 11 basically got outvoted by the rest of the family.
"Everything is OK now,'' Tyler said. "There was never really any anger there, just disappointment, but I'm OK ... The girls are a little happier too, and I'm sure that my wife is going to be happier that I'm at least going to come home once in awhile. This is a good thing.
"I see their point really well now. I would occasionally after the game be a little worn out -- especially after the doubleheaders. The way it is now, I'm happy, because I sit and do the balls and then I have a chance to go walking around and taking a look at everything else. There are plenty of things going on in the ballpark that I didn't know about before."
I'll have more on Ernie's decision later today on the Web site and in tomorrow's print edition.