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The Keepers of the Rules

One of the battery of physical therapists who put Steve Palermo through an average of five hours of pain, five days a week, says he is the first patient she has had who, looking back on the episode that broke his body, insists he would do it again. Of course he would. He's just enforcing the rules. He is after all an umpire.

written by George Will
Newsweek, April 4, 1992


The Umpire Fights Back

... Palermo was asked to appear at a press conference to publicly answer questions about the shooting for the first time. It came as no surprise to him when many of the questions that day centered on how Palermo felt about being a hero. It did surprise him, however, when reporters stood and applauded him after the session.

Palermo has seen himself transformed in the public eye from a man whose only disability was presumed to be occasional occupational blindness to a man who is some kind of hero riding out of Texas on a gleaming white wheelchair. It is an image that makes him cringe. “All that talk, that's bull,” he says. “Hero is a word I don't wear well. There were six guys who did what I did that night, and none of us went out that door trying to make our mark as heroes. What about the four guys who didn't get shot? I guess they're smart heroes.”

written by Bruce Newman
Sports Illustrated cover story, July 6, 1992


Palermo Refuses to Take Strike 3 Call

Palermo has never been one to surrender. Not to out-of-control managers or players during heated arguments on the field. Not to a gun-toting felon on the streets of Dallas. And certainly not to the sympathetic but painfully conservative attitudes of others who would have him end his quest to come all the way back from his partial paralysis to the major leagues.

written by Claire Smith
New York Times, February 21, 1994


One Step at a Time

Before it (robbery) happened, Steve Palermo had become a great umpire. Still a young man at 41, he worked a baseball game as smoothly and enthusiastically as anyone ever had. He moved with the authority of a man born to his work. Smiling, he talked to players, fans, ground crews, anyone who would listen and (thinking here of Earl Weaver) some who wouldn't. It was Steve Palermo's world and he loved it.

His first mentor, Joe Linsalata, told him good umpires are like boxers. You get down. You move. You jab. You get out of there. Palermo says the challenge is to be perfect. For every can of corn, you get out there as if it's the toughest play you'll ever call. The rules are 15 percent of the job. The game is what matters and rule 9.01(a) says, “the umpires shall be responsible for the conduct of the game ...”

written by Dave Kindred
Sporting News, December 23, 1991


An All-American Hero – Q & A Interview

Palermo:  The only thing that I would have changed about the night was I would have tried to be a little bit smarter, duck a little bit faster and try not to get hit with that bullet. But other than that, everything else, the sequence of events that happened that night, I think that I would have done the same. The only thing that I would have liked to see changed is the fact that I didn't get shot.

written by Stephen C. Rubino, Editor-in-Chief
Trial Lawyer magazine, May 1993

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