By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
The Pacific Palisades Baseball Association playoffs are now underway at the Palisades Recreation Center’s Field of Dreams, but a familiar voice is absent behind the plate—that of head umpire Dirk Robinson.
Aided by Mustang Red Sox mom Kelly Holscher, longtime PPBA Commissioner Bob Benton set up a GoFundMe campaign for Robinson, who had a partial amputation of his right foot last week due to complications with diabetes.
In less than 24 hours, the Palisades community raised nearly $60,000 to help pay for expenses not covered by insurance while Robinson recuperates. Teams also made get well videos that were sent to him in the hospital.
Benton and the Board of Directors posted the following on the PPBA website:
“To know ‘Umpire Dirk’ is to love Dirk Robinson.
Dirk has been PPBA’s lead umpire for 16 years. He has also been responsible for recruiting the other PPBA umpires for our Pinto, Mustang, Bronco and Pony teams year after year. Many of you have had multiple children at the plate with Dirk watching over them, encouraging them and making the hard calls. And, always with a smile on his face and a fair temperament on the field. Dirk has spent thousands of hours over the years on public buses—faithfully commuting to his adopted Palisades community because he loves working with our kids. It is more than just a job for Dirk, it is part of his legacy.
Dirk has a long journey ahead, learning to adapt to maneuvering without losing his faith and his amazing sense of humor. In addition, he will be unable to work for the next few months and will need assistance with physical therapy, groceries, transportation, etc. Here is how you can help.
1. Join us in this special fundraiser where we hope to cover Dirk’s uninsured expenses for the next several months, to ease his stress during his challenging recovery: gofund.me/0ab26463.
2. Have your PPBA player write a get well note to Umpire Dirk and give it to your coach this week or drop it through the mail slot at Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce on Antioch next to the UPS store. We will gather all the notes to bring to Dirk at the hospital. He will love hearing from all the players.”
“All five of my kids have played PPBA at some point, with Dirk as their favorite umpire,” Holscher shared Monday evening. “I just got back from visiting with Dirk in the hospital. He’s still in a lot of pain and has a long journey ahead, but his spirits are lifted knowing so many people care about him. He’s an extraordinary man and a great umpire. The Palisades is blessed to have him.”
According to Holscher, nearly $80,000 had been raised as of Monday morning, June 7.
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