Umpires: Classic Baseball Stories from the Men Who Made the Calls


In this work, nineteen umps provide their unique insight on some of the most important and pivotal moments in baseball history.
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They are known by a variety of names, many of them unprintable. Like the big league players, they are the very best in their profession and spend years honing their craft, yet ... some fans pretend to believe they are incompetent boobs. They are the men in blue on the baseball diamond, major league umpires. In this work, nineteen umps provide their unique insight on some of the most important and pivotal moments in baseball history. Don Denkinger recounts his call that turned the 1985 World Series. "Red" Flaherty and Bill Kinnamon recall the excitement of Roger Maris’ 61st homer. From these men and Bill Jackowski, Bill Haller, John Rice, Dutch Rennert, John Kibler, Bill Valentine, Terry Cooney, Andy Olsen, Marty Springstead, Doug Harvey, Ken Burkhart, Ed Runge, Hank Morgenweck, Art Frantz, Jerry Neudecker, and Steamboat Johnson, we get a different view of the game and a new appreciation for the job the umpires do on a daily basis. Read more Show Less

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In this work, nineteen umps provide their unique insight on some of the most important and pivotal moments in baseball history.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Raymond Houser
Umpires are a necessary part of the game of baseball, but though necessary, they remain largely anonymous, especially if they do their jobs well. Here, Skipper relates the memorable moments of nineteen umpires. John "Red" Flaherty tells of the day Roger Maris hit his sixty-first home run, to break Babe Ruth's single-season record. Don Denkinger makes the call, although a bad one, that allows the Kansas City Royals to rally and defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1985 World Series. Doug Harvey is behind the plate when Kirk Gibson homes in the bottom of the ninth in 1988 to defeat the Oakland Athletics and lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a World Series win. These great moments are paid for by years of toil in the minor leagues, following umpire's school. Once in the minors, umpires learn their craft, and then, if lucky, they get the call to the big leagues. Almost all of the umpires in this book admit to a lucky break or to being noticed by an important person who made it possible for them to get to the major leagues. As with minor league ballplayers, many umpires aspire to be major leaguers, but few ever make it. A big-league umpire can make as much as $225,000 a year, but their life is very difficult. Unlike the ballplayers who play at home half the season, umpires are on the road the whole season. Umpires will appeal to YA readers who have an interest in baseball. It is written in four- to five-page segments, a plus for those with short attention spans. The book might inspire sympathy for umpires and their difficult role, and also might provide the blueprint for a YA looking for a career in professional sports other than as a player. Index. Photos. Charts. Biblio. Chronology. Appendix. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P M J S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786403646
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/1997
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John C. Skipper, a political reporter for the Mason City (Iowa) Globe Gazette, has written numerous books on politics and baseball, including The Iowa Caucuses and acclaimed biographies of Grover Cleveland Alexander, Dazzy Vance and Charlie Gehringer.

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Table of Contents

Table of Box Scores
Introduction 1
Roger Maris's 61st Home Run 7
The Maris Home Run: Another View 12
Mazeroski's Magic Moment 19
The First World Series Night Game 24
Schmidt Hits 4 Home Runs 31
Strange Circumstances in 1984 Playoffs 38
The Beaning of Tony Conigliaro 45
The Infamous Call in 1985 World Series 53
Baseball's Second Most Famous Ejection 63
The Longest Scoreless Game 70
Manager Forces Forfeited Game 77
The Kirk Gibson Home Run 82
Strange Play in 1970 World Series 89
Rose Bowls Over Fosse in All-Star Game 97
Don Larsen's Perfect Game in World Series 103
A Nolan Ryan No-Hitter 108
The Carlton Fisk Homer in '75 Series 117
His Chest Protector in Hall of Fame 122
Ty Cobb Didn't Scare Him 129
Epilogue 137
App. A Some Umpires Who Also Played 141
App. B A Chronology of Major League Umpiring 154
App. C A Roster of Major League Umpires from 1876 On 158
Bibliography 169
Index 171
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