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 Question of the Month!
Pro rules
The off season features "classic" questions
From October, 2011

Runners on 1st & 2nd. The 1st baseman is playing behind the runner. From the stretch, the pitcher throws to 1st with the throw travelling directly over the bag. The 1st baseman remains in his position behind the runner. The ball bounces off the fence directly to the right fielder. The runner from 2nd goes to 3rd while the runner from 1st returns to the base.
What is your call?

Extra Credit

Who is the last player to win the ML Triple Crown (leading both the AL & NL in HR's, RBI's & BA) & in what year?

The difference between batting averages on 1-2 counts vs. 2-1 counts in MLB over the last 5 seasons

Year 1-2 2-1 Difference
2019 .161 .351 .190
2020 .160 .336 .176
2021 .155 .338 .183
2022 .161 .337 .176
2023 .164 .332 .168
5-year .160 .340 .179

Baseball Calendar

03-28-2004 Opening Day
07-07-2024 MLB Draft
07-16-2024 All-Star Game, Arlington, Texas
09-29-2024 Last Day of Season
10-07-2024 Division Series Begins
10-15-2024 Championship Series
10-27-2024 World Series

1971 Candlestick Park Refreshment Price List

Are You Correct?

February Answer

Q: Runner on 1st, none out. The pitcher steps off, gets confused and throws a pitch while off the rubber. The batter swings at the ball and lines into right field. The runner is then doubled off first.
What is your ruling?

A: The pitch is an illegal pitch. Since all runners, including the batter-runner have not advanced at least one base, the play is nullified and the batter returns to bat. The ball remains alive when hit. Time should be called as soon as the ball was caught by the right fielder, since the batter-runner will not be able to advance to 1st, therefore the balk penalty must be enforced.

Extra Credit

Q: Which ML hitter put the most balls in play during the 2009 season?

A: Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies with 609.

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Pitch Clock Numbers
9-inning games lasting 3+ hours

2003-24%, 2004-25%, 2005-26%, 2006-27%, 2007-34%, 2008-31%, 2009-34%, 2010-33%, 2011-35%, 2012-42%, 2013-47%, 2014-54%,
2015-42%, 2016-51%, 2017-59%, 2018-50%, 2019-59%, 2020-63%, 2021-67%, 2022-57%
2023-9% (most of season)

Milestones in Baseball History

2023: MLB introduces pitch clock for batters & pitchers, larger bases, shift restrictions
2022: Aaron Judge breaks Maris' AL HR record with 62
2022:
DH approved for all 30 teams: Doyle Alexander (Cincinnati Reds) is the 1st regular season NL DH
2022:
Lockout delays season
2021: Joe West umpired his 5,376th regular season game, breaking Bill Klems' record, held since 1941. He retires at the end of the season
2021: MiLB restructures eliminating 40 affiliated teams due to COVID pandemic
2020: Season limited to 60 games due to COVID pandemic
2019: Mound visits revised to 5 per game
2018: Mound visits limited to 6 per game, redefined visits
2017: Replay challenges expanded to 7 innings, shorter time limits imposed on challenges and decisions
2015: Rule book completely re-organized
2014: Expanded replay approved
2013: Season-long interleague play begins
2010: First game telecast in 3D (NY Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners)
2009: MLB's Zone Evaluation system replaces Questec in all ballparks
2008: Limited replay approved
2001:
MLB initiates contract with Questec to use its pitch tracking system to review umpires: eventually used in 11 ballparks
2001: Barry Bonds hits 74 home runs
2000: Leagues use common umpires
1998: Sammy Sosa (66) and Mark McGwire (70) break Maris' home run record
1997: Interleague play begins
1995: Cal Ripken breaks Gehrig's consecutive game record
1976: Dan Driessen becomes the first Designated Hitter from an NL team
1973: Art Williams becomes the first black umpire to reach the NL staff
1973: Ron Bloomberg (NY Yankees) is the first DH
1971: Cowhide substituted for horsehide on baseball
1966: Emmett Ashford becomes the first black umpire in MLB when he reached the AL after 14 seasons in the minors
1961: Roger Maris breaks Ruth's home run record
1951: First game telecast in color (Boston Braves vs. Brooklyn Dodgers)
1947: Jackie Robinson plays for the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)
1947: Larry Doby plays for the Cleveland Indians (AL)
1941: Joe DiMaggio hits safely in 56 consecutive games
1939: First game broadcast on TV (Cincinnati Reds vs. Brooklyn Dodgers)
1935: Night baseball begins
1932: Leagues adopt common baseballs
1927: Babe Ruth hits 60 home runs in a season
1920: Live Ball era; Spitball banned
1919: Chicago "Black Sox" scandal
1903: World Series begins
1901: American League organized
1876: National League organized
1865: Overhand pitching legalized

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Baseball Facts

670 calls were overturned by replay at the MLB level in 2022. Average of 1 every 3.63 games.

Dan Iassogna called 10,653 pitches in 2019 to claim the squats crown. He averaged 322.8 pitches per game in his 33 plate assignments last season.
Past squats leaders have included Alfonso Marquez (11,254) in 2008; Tim McClelland (11,417) in 2009; Bob Davidson (11,064) in 2010; Joe West (10,914) in 2011; Gary Darling (11,216) in 2012; Brian Knight (10,950) in 2013; Tripp Gibson (10,757) in 2014; Joe West (10,331) in 2015; Larry Vanover (10,171) in 2016; West again in 2017 (10,588); and D.J. Reyburn in 2018 (9,964).

John Tumpane was rated for a "perfect" game behind the plate in game 2 of the 2020 ALCS. He was rated by UEFL as calling 100% of the 135 pitches correctly. 99.4% had been the prior best by Joe West and Jordan Baker.
He also worked the plate during 2020 for what is now the longest game in MLB history this year (see below).

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 now took place on September 30, 2020, a post season game. It was between the NY Yankees (10 runs) and the Cleveland Indians (9 runs)and took 4:50. John Tumpane was the plate umpire.

John Tumpane was also rated for a "perfect" game behind the plate in game 2 of the 2020 ALCS. He was rated by UEFL as calling 100% of the 135 pitches correctly. 99.4 had been the prior best by Joe West and Jordan Baker.

Now the 2nd longest 9-inning game 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 third 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.

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Quotes

"In a 31-year career, that was the highlight. It was historic. I've worked World Series and playoff games, and this was the most exciting...When he did it, and the visitors' inning was over and it became official and he did that lap around the stadium, it just gave you goose bumps. President Clinton was there, and the head of Clintons' Secret Service detail behind home plate asked me when Cal was going around, 'How long are you going to let this go on?' And I said, 'When he's finished. That's when we'll restart the game.'" Larry Barnett, plate umpire the night Cal Ripken, Jr. broke the record for consecutive games played, commenting on the 10-yr. anniversary of the feat
NOTE: Greg Kosc was in the rotation to be the plate umpire that night, but deferred to Barnett, at the time the senior ML umpire

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

"You can't think and hit at the same time." Yogi Berra- Additional Yogisms

"I made a game effort to argue but two things were against me: the umpires and the rules." Leo Durocher - More Quotes from Leo

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." Earl Weaver - View more of Earl's Pearls

"Good pitching will stop good hitting and vice-versa." Casey Stengel - More of Casey

"The only real way to know you've been fired is when you arrive at the ballpark and find your name has been scratched from the parking list." Billy Martin- More from Billy

"It was all I lived for, to play baseball." Mickey Mantle- Additional Quotes from the Mick

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