The Berkeley Little League Board of Directors will meet Friday night to review the slapping of a 17 year old umpire on Thursday night by a manager during a disputed call.

Moorage Little League field in Berkeley Township
Moorage Little League field in Berkeley Township (Berkeley Little League)

League President Bob Everett says the 21-member board will discuss the events of Thursday night in which 43-year-old Thomas Murphy slapped the teen umpire after he was ejected from the game between Murphy's Mets and the Dodgers. Everett says that the process will be accelerated as it is obvious from all accounts what happened on the league's Moorage Complex Field M2.

Everett says he has tried unsuccessfully to speak with Murphy but did receive a text saying he has retained a lawyer. Police found Murphy at his home and charged him with simple assault and another for simple assault at a sporting event in the presence of children under the age of 16, Smith said. He was released on a summons

He is not expected to attend Friday's hearing.

Everett wrote on the League's Facebook page that as President,  "I am given the exclusive power to appoint all managers and coaches, upon which time the board then approves such appointments. I can assure you that for as long as I am president this person will NEVER be appointed again, in case there was any doubt."

He says Murphy did not have any major problems in the past. "All coaches have get caught up in the heat of competition but nothing like this."

Berkeley Police Detective Sgt. Jim Smith   got into an argument with the unidentified umpire over a call made in the basepaths and was ejected. “When the umpire walked away, the coach smacked him in the ear,” Smith said.

Players on the Mets are age 10-12. Everett says Murphy has two boys who play in the League and they are welcome to continue playing.

Sorting Things Out

The League has also called a mandatory meeting of all coaches & managers on Saturday morning.

Everett, who was coaching another game and did not witness the incident said,  “We're still trying to sort out some of it out but it seems pretty clear there was an argument over a call...and for some unexplainable reason (Murphy) assaulted the umpire."

He says the incident has will be dealt with "promptly, quickly and appropriately" in accordance with League rules. "It''s pretty well established we don't stand for this in our league" and says that parents, coaches and players all go through training to deal with various situations.

Everett  hopes everyone needs to "take a step back"  and reminds parents, "It's just a kids game. It's really pretty simple"

Everett says this is Murphy's first year with the Mets and has been a coach for 5 or 6 years in the Berkeley program.

Listen to Jason's conversation with Bob Everett

In a statement on the League's Facebook page, Everett wrote:

"The incident at our league tonight was inexcusable. While we have a process we must follow, the manager is suspended immediately pending a league disciplinary hearing. Our league goes above & beyond what most leagues do in training and educating our coaches & parents on appropriate behavior. Unfortunately, for some folks these lessons just don't take. This will be addressed quickly, severely and appropriately."

"The umpire that was assaulted is an outstanding young man that does a fantastic job for our league. He handled himself in an incredibly mature and responsible manner. Fortunately he was not injured by this stupid attack."


Kevin Williams contributed to this story.

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