Deaf Umpire Shows Anything is Possible

Uploaded by ESPN760 on 28.03.2011

There's nothing you can't do. That's the message West Palm Beach resident
Peter Rozynski sends to the deaf community every time he steps on the diamond.
A new Jersey native, who's beemn deaf since he was 2-years-old, Rozynski is only one of
a few dozen deaf umpires in the United States. He's been umpiring softball games since 1988.
About five years ago, his love for the job brought him down to Florida, where softball
leagues are more tolerant to his cause. Peter Rozynski
People need to open their minds and just give people a chance. Give deaf people a chance.
Rozynksi communicates through his sign leangauge interpreter, Amy Hair. But it wasn't always
that way. For the first few years with the East Coast Umpiring Association, Rozynski
had to work without any interpreter at all. Peter Rozynski
It was really difficult the first two years with no interpreter. One of the other umpires
had a deaf relative and he finger-spelled to me a lot.
But close to three years ago, the Association hired Hair to help Rozynski with meetings
and training. A former softball player and coach herself, Hair has been interpreting
for almost 30 years. She's worked for three Presidents, and countless other politicians.
Through all of her years in the business, she says Rozynski has a special way of inspiring
others. Amy Hair
I wish more deaf people had the confidence he does to go out and just go for it, and
be a pioneer and be a person for children to look up to. He's a wonderful role model
for deaf children. Peter Rozynski
If I wanted to be an umpire, I just went for it. I wanted to prove to deaf children that
I can do it and they can do it. Rozynski says being unable to hear, doesn't
affect him on the field as much as you may think. But being a deaf umpire, he said, does
have one major perk. He doesn't have to hear players and coaches screaming at him over
close calls. Herb Uzzi -- ESPN 760, on Fox 29.