Called Out but Safe: A Baseball Umpire's Journey

Called Out but Safe: A Baseball Umpire's Journey

Called Out but Safe: A Baseball Umpire's Journey

Called Out but Safe: A Baseball Umpire's Journey


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If an umpire could steal the show in a Major League game, Al Clark might well have been the one to do it. Tough but fair, in his thirty years as a professional umpire he took on some of baseball’s great umpire baiters, such as Earl Weaver, Billy Martin, and Dick Williams, while ejecting any number of the game’s elite—once tearing a hamstring in the process. He was the first Jewish umpire in American League history, and probably the first to eject his own father from the officials’ dressing room. But whatever Clark was doing—officiating at Nolan Ryan’s three hundredth win, Cal Ripken’s record breaker, or the “earthquake” World Series of 1989, or braving a labor dispute, an anti-Semitic tirade by a Cy Young Award winner, or a legal imbroglio—it makes for a good story.

Called Out but Safe is Clark’s outspoken and often hilarious account of his life in baseball from umpire school through the highlights to the inglorious end of his stellar career. Not just a source of baseball history and lore, Clark’s book also affords a rare look at what life is like for someone who works for the Major Leagues’ other team. 


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803246881
Publisher: Nebraska
Publication date: 05/01/2014
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Al Clark was a professional umpire for thirty years, working more than three thousand games, including two All-Star Games, seven playoff series, and two World Series. Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg is the author or coauthor of more than thirty baseball books, including Designated Hebrew: The Ron Blomberg Story and Making Airwaves: 60 Years at Milo’s Microphone.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments Xvii

Introduction xxi

1 The Family Clark 1

2 Getting Started 13

3 The Art of Umpiring 24

4 Dressing the Part 54

5 My Office 59

6 Names and Games 66

7 Wives, Women, and Song 81

8 The Yiddishe Umpire 85

9 Billy, Earl, and a Few Dicks 93

10 Bucky F. Dent 109

11 Labor Pains 113

12 Quaking in My Boots 122

13 A Texas Connection 129

14 Lights Out in Baltimore 133

15 The Iron Man 139

16 Credit Denied 145

17 Jailhouse Rock 151

18 Lasting Impressions 176

Epilogue 193

Appendix 195

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