As a sports editor, umpire and sports fanatic, I’ve been fortunate to meet a number of unique, interesting and even crazy individuals. From St. George to Logan, from Wendover to Vernal I’ve met them all.
But on Tuesday, I encountered one of the most courageous, brave and fearless people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. No, he wasn’t leaping tall buildings in a single bound or even lifting armored cars with his bare hands.
But what this man did at Ken Price Park was more remarkable in strength than any super-hero could muster.
Jim Moore appears to be just an ordinary man and when he took his position behind the plate to umpire a junior varsity baseball game, no one could imagine anything was unusual. But I had the pleasure of being his partner on the diamond.
What the screaming fans, stern coaches and nervous players did not know, was that this gallant umpire has terminal brain cancer and only has a few months to live. Doctors were able to remove one tumor, but two more are still life-threatening in Moore’s cranium.
Instead of feeling a sense of bitterness, remorse and looking for answers “why,” Moore has taken on a remarkable and refreshing attitude of making the best of his final months on this earth.
This veteran umpire of 30 years said he wants to continue to take his place on the field of dreams and umpire until this cruel disease affects his ability to make quick decisions.
“I love this game” he noted between innings.
“This is a great game and I love it. The best thing is that it’s for the kids.”
This man proves the heart is the strongest muscle in any body and Moore has maybe the biggest one of all. To take the field for all of the right reasons is unusual for this day and age and extremely stimulating.
In a similar situation, many of us might not even get out of bed. But Moore continues to make the best of his final days and is going to do “fun things” and relish the time until he is taken from this earth.
Remarkable, inspirational and unbelievable are just few adjectives that first come to mind. But when one ponders his condition and thinks of the future ramifications, heroic, courageous and valiant are more appropriate.
He has touched my heart like no other and there is nothing that I can say or do to ease the adversity he will face in the coming months.
But what I’m hoping to do is raise enough funds to fly this courageous and brave man and his wife, Judy, to watch a series of major league games and allow him to witness first hand the game that he so loves. He has not asked for it. But I want to reward this man for being such a positive role model to me and many others in this sport we love.
There is a Jim Moore Benefit Fund at all Key Bank locations across the state and any donations, even just a couple dollars, could be the difference in rewarding this special and fearless man in his final months.