What They Were Thinking

Umpire WALTER BENTSON, 58, who has a less-aggressive form of ALS, is applauded by players during the ninth annual 100 Innings of Baseball game to benefit ALS research and the Angel Fund at Adams Field in Quincy. Bentson dropped his canes and spent a half-inning behind home plate at midnight, Oct, 21, 2012 — “It means that I survived another year, that I can walk out there and do a couple of more batters, and hopefully do it again next year. I’m not really beating it, to tell you the truth, you’re just scared of it, so you try to just keep going and hope it doesn’t catch up to you too much. It’s important that family and friends come out here and support us. I have 15 six-man umpire crews here and over 100 ballplayers. I’ll take it one batter at a time. I certainly feel the love, but not till I get off the field. I’m concentrating too much because after 50 innings, there are a lot of undulations behind the catcher. Besides that, and all the previous umpires, my right foot might be in a hole. A normal person, it would not matter, but for me I have to look down and be careful. I don’t want to fall. There are so many people fighting other types of diseases that are much worse than me. I, fortunately, haven’t gotten to that point. I’ve been able to fight a much better fight because I don’t have other things wrong with me. I figure, hey, if I can survive five or six years more than normal, maybe by then we’ll get lucky. Thank God I have the right people and the right care.”