John Tumpane, a professional Major League baseball umpire, became a great hero last night, not because of his work behind the plate, but because of the gesture he had to help a woman when she tried to commit suicide.
Tumpane, 34, still can not explain why a woman who had crossed over the railing on the Roberto Clemente bridge near PNC Park, where the local Pirates’ team plays, Pittsburgh.
When she approached him and asked why he was there, the woman told Tumpane that she only wanted a better view of the Allegheny River below.
Tumpane, however, with a great deal of experience in all kinds of player expressions, when he reflected his emotional state on the batter’s box, immediately realized that the woman’s face and tone suggested something else.
Tumpane, who was in Pittsburgh to work on the Pirates’ series and the Tampa Bay Rays, did not think twice and his reaction was to hold the woman by the arm, although she asked him to release her .
“I can only say that it was pure instinct,” Tumpane said when he explained what had happened. “You hear stories about this all the time, different scenarios, people who help, and (was) a situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help … Several times I wanted to go to the other side. In my presence, please. ‘”
Then Tumpane grabbed one of the woman’s arms. One pedestrian came over and helped him by holding the other, while a third man – Mike Weinman, a Rays clerk – clung to his legs and held them to the railing while Tumpane shouted at the people in The place they called for emergencies.
Tumpane, Weinman and the third volunteer held the unidentified woman until emergency workers arrived to take charge of the situation.
“After controlling the woman, we were able to talk to her to help us and we put her back on the other side,” Tumpane explained. “Then I approached her and said ‘You will forget me after this’ and I replied, ‘No, I will never forget it.’ It was an incredible day, and I am happy to say that she may have another day between us and I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time. ”
Tumpane, who grew up in Chicago’s suburbs, started acting as a teen referee, made his senior debut in 2012 and received his full-time assignment in the majors in 2016. He insisted he is not a hero.
“It was just there,” he told reporters. “I saw someone in need, and it obviously seemed like a situation where I had to intervene and help.”
Tumpane acknowledged that it was “a very special moment” and although later during the party that had to work he saw in the background the Roberto Clemente Bridge, dedicated the honor of the legend of the Puerto Rican baseball, that died during an aviation accident when it took aid to the Nicaraguan victims who had suffered an earthquake, never lost concentration on their work.
In the end the Pirates won the game 6-2 to the Rays, but the great winner of the day had been the woman who thanks to the presence of Tumpane and the other two men who helped prevent him from taking his life.
“What filled me with satisfaction was to see how again with the help of all we can always get positive things,” said Tumpane. “That’s the message that leaves me the action we did.”