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Steve O's Baseball Umpire Resources

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Brent Rice Interview / 2015 NFHS BB Rules Changes
Writing Ejection ReportsSite Map / Properly Scoring Runs


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AL 50th Anniversary Scorecard  


Question of the Month!
From July, 2002
The off-season features "classic" questions

No outs, runner on first, the defense is expecting a bunt. The pitcher comes set while the first baseman is charging. The first baseman then reverses his direction and the pitcher throws to first. The throw is caught by the first baseman before he reaches the bag, and he tags the runner before he can safely return to first.

Is this a balk?

Extra Credit

How many stitches are there on a regulation baseball?

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Baseball Calendar

02-01-2015 Arbitation Hearings Begin
04-05-2015 Opening Night: Cardnials-Cubs
04-06-2015 Opening Day
06-18-2015 MLB Draft
07-02-2015 International  Free Agent Signing Period Begins
07-14-2015 All-Star Game - Cincinnati, OH
12-07-2015 Winter Meetings - Nashville, TN

Are You Correct?

November Answer

Q: Runner on second and one out when the pitcher balks. The pitch is delivered and the batter hits a grounder to the third baseman, who bluffs the runner back to second but throws too late to get the batter-runner at first.
What's the call? Does the play stand?

A: Balk, no play. Each runner, including the batter-runner must advance at least one base to proceed without reference to the balk. The runner moves to third and the batter returns to the plate. (8.05-penalty ...unless the batter reaches first...and all other runners advance at least one base...)
NOTE: In HS baseball, the ball is immediately dead on a balk.

Extra Credit

Q: What player hit the first homerun in the Houston Astrodome?

A: Mickey Mantle, in an exhibition game just prior to the start of the Astrodome's first season, April, 1965

Previous Questions of the Month!!

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Milestones in Baseball History

1865: Overhand pitching legalized
1876: National League organized
1901: American League organized
1903: World Series began
1919: Chicago "Black Sox" scandal
1920: Live Ball era; Spitball banned
1927: Babe Ruth hits 60 home runs in a season
1932: Leagues adopt common baseballs
1935: Night baseball began
1939: First game televised (Cincinnati Reds vs. Brooklyn Dodgers)
1941: Joe DiMaggio hits safely in 56 consecutive games
1947: Jackie Robinson plays for the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)
1947: Larry Doby plays for the Cleveland Indians (AL)
1951: First game televised in color (Boston Braves vs. Brooklyn Dodgers)
1961: Roger Maris breaks Ruth's home run record
1966: Emmett Ashford becomes the first black umpire in MLB when he reached the AL after 14 seasons in the minors
1971: Cowhide substituted for horsehide on baseball
1973: First AL Designated Hitter, Ron Blomberg, bats
1973: Art Williams becomes the first black umpire to reach the NL staff
1976: Dan Driessen becomes the first Designated Hitter from an NL team
1995: Cal Ripken breaks Gehrig's consecutive game record
1997: Interleague play begins
1998: Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire break Maris' home run record
2000: Leagues use common umpires
2001: MLB signs contract with Questec to use its pitch tracking system to review umpire performance: eventually used in 11 ballparks
2008: Limited replay approved
2009: MLB's Zone Evaluation system replaces Questec in all ballparks
2010: First game televised in 3D (NY Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners)
2013: Season-long interleague play begins
2014: Expanded replay approved

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Baseball Facts

Brian Knight captured home plate squats bragging rights in 2013 with 10,950. Knight averaged 304.2 pitches per game in his 36 plate assignments last season.

Of the 199 MLB ejections in 2011, Jerry Layne and crewmates Bob Davidson, Hunter Wendelstedt and Brian Knight accounted for 26, or 13 percent: 8 for Davidson, 8 for Wendelstedt, 6 for Knight and 4 for Layne. With 17 umpire crews, the average crew administered just 11-12 ejections, meaning Layne's crew ejected twice as much as the average crew. By comparison, Joe West's crew barely scratched the 20 ejection mark. SteveO

Did you know that prior to 1947, a 4-man (or less in the early days) crew was used for the World Series? In 1947, MLB went to a 6-man crew. However, from 1947-1963, the two outfield umpires stayed in their position for the entire series and did not rotate. Only the four infield umpires rotated for the series. In 1964, MLB went to the current system of rotating all six umpires.

MLB has 30 teams, 17 umpire crews and 2,430 games Umpire scheduling protocol is that an umpire crew does not see the same team sooner than every 18 days and no more than 4 times in a season.

In 1878, the first paid umpires were in the National League, where the home teams were instructed to pay the umpires $5/game

Albert Pujols had won the 2003 NL batting title over Todd Helton by the closest margin in league history, the third tightest in ML history. The final stat was .35871 to .35849 or a .00022 difference. The tightest race ever was in 1945 when the Yankees' Snuffy Stirnweiss beat Tony Cuccinello of the White Sox by .00009. In 1949, Detroit's George Kell edge Boston's Ted Williams by .00016. Check out ML's All-Time Leaders.

Umpire signals were first used in the late 1800's to help a deaf mute player from that time understand what was going on in the game. His name was Dummy Hoy, and he was a ML outfielder from 1888 to 1902. See Umpire Communications for umpire signal information.

The shortest game in ML history was played on September 28, 1919 when the NY Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 in a game that took 51 minutes.

The longest 9-inning game in ML history took place on August 18, 2006 between New York (14 runs) & Boston (11 runs) and lasted 4:45. Jim Wolf was the plate umpire and called 437 pitches. It was the second game of a Day-Night DH. The first game lasted 3:55, with NY winning 12-4. Tony Randazzo was behind the plate for game one.

The second longest 9-inning game in ML history took place on October 5, 2001 between Los Angeles & San Francisco and lasted 4:27. Jerry Layne was the plate umpire and called 361 pitches.

The longest game in ML history featured Milwaukee at Chicago in 1984, required 25 innings and took 8:06.

Jim Evans Training Video
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What an Umpire Should Never Do
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Batter's Box Fiasco
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Fiele under construction


Soon after being traded, asked about the condition of his shoulder he replied "My shoulder's okay, but I've still got a scar where the Mets stuck a knife in my back." Tug McGraw

The single thing that separates good (officials) from the average one is timing. If you allow everything to develop in front of you, then take that picture, you can go get it developed and bring it back with a decision. I think that's what all officials should do. Your eyes are a camera and you're taking a picture. If you start moving the camera, you take the picture a little too fast, which is where timing comes in." Steve Palermo - Former AL Umpire

"I wish I had an answer to that, because I'm tired of answering that question." Yogi Berra- Additional YogismsBad Boy

"If I were playing third base and my mother were rounding third with the run that was going to beat us, I'd trip her. Oh, I'd pick her up and brush her off and say, 'Sorry, Mom,' but nobody beats me." Leo Durocher - More Quotes from Leo

"This ain't a football game, we do this every day." Earl Weaver - View more of Earl's Pearls

"Lefthanders have more enthusiasm for life. They sleep on the wrong side of the bed and their head gets more stagnant on that side." Casey Stengel - More of Casey

"I'm getting smarter, I finally punched something that couldn't sue me." Billy Martin- More from Billy

"If I'd known I was going to live so long I'd have taken better care of myself." Mickey Mantle- Additional Quotes from the Mick


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