By the time he showed up at PNC Park on Wednesday to call the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays, MLB umpire John Tumpane must have figured there was no way the rest of his day could have been any more stressful than what had already happened.
Per the Post-Gazette, Tumpane was walking across the nearby Roberto Clemente Bridge around 3 p.m. when he noticed a woman climb the railing, leaving nothing between her and the Allegheny River below. He rushed over to assess the situation and immediately hooked his arms around the woman’s, telling her “You don’t want to do that. It’s just as good over here. Let’s go grab some lunch and talk.”
The woman fought with Tumpane, begging for him to let go so she could jump but he held on, even to the point where she dangled off the bridge with only his grip keeping her from falling. Tumpane was able to mouth to another bystander to call 911 and others helped secure the woman to the bridge. Eventually, a police boat, a helicopter, an ambulance, a fire truck, and a police officer all showed up and helped bring the woman back over the railing and to safety.
— Michael Sanserino (@msanserino) June 29, 2017
During the harried ordeal, Tumpane remembered a specific exchange they had. Trying to get him to let her go, the woman told him, “you’ll forget me tomorrow.” To which he responded, “I’ll never forget you. You can have my promise on that.” As she was about to be loaded into the ambulance and taken to the hospital, Tumpane later told reporters that he said, “I didn’t forget her, and we’d be here, and she’s better off on this side than the other side.”
— Matt Freed (@mattfreedpghpg) June 29, 2017
While he certainly didn’t do it for acknowledgement, hopefully the league and the Pirates will take a moment to honor Tumpane as a hero for helping save a life.