On Wednesday, MLB umpire John Tumpane was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh, just outside PNC Park, where Trumpane would later work the Rays-Pirates game (TB-PIT GameTracker). Tumpane happened upon a woman standing on the outside of the railing and staring down into the waters of the Allegheny River.
Here’s part of what happened next, via Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The bridge was mostly empty at that time of day. Tumpane rushed toward the woman, who appeared calm, and asking what was going on.
“I just wanted to get a better look of the city from this side,” she replied, according to the umpire’s recollection.
“Oh no,” Tumpane said, hooking his arm around hers. “You don’t want to do that. It’s just as good over here. Let’s go grab some lunch and talk.”
“No, no, no,” she answered. “I’m better off on this side. Just let me go.”
“I’m not going to let you go,” he said. “Let’s talk this out. We’ll get you back over here.”
Nesbitt’s story has much more of the exchange between Trumpane and the woman, so do yourself a favor and read the entire thing.
Responders secured the woman and brought her back to safety, but without Tumpane’s physical and emotional intervention they might not have had the chance to get her the help she needs. Tumpane says he hopes to reconnect with the woman on Thursday before his schedule takes him out of Pittsburgh.
That’s some serious grace under pressure by Tumpane. Here’s hoping the woman he saved is able to make the most of this second chance. The man for whom the bridge is named would surely approve of this act of mercy.