The Umpire Is Out: Calling the Game and Living My True Self

The Umpire Is Out: Calling the Game and Living My True Self

The Umpire Is Out: Calling the Game and Living My True Self

The Umpire Is Out: Calling the Game and Living My True Self


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Dale Scott’s career as a professional baseball umpire spanned nearly forty years, including thirty-three in the Major Leagues, from 1985 to 2017. He worked exactly a thousand games behind the plate, calling balls and strikes at the pinnacle of his profession, working in every Major League Baseball stadium, and interacting with dozens of other top-flight umpires, colorful managers, and hundreds of players, from future Hall of Famers to one-game wonders.

Scott has enough stories about his career on the field to fill a dozen books, and there are plenty of those stories here. He’s not interested in settling scores, but throughout the book he’s honest about managers and players, some of whom weren’t always perfect gentlemen. But what makes Scott’s book truly different is his unique perspective as the only umpire in the history of professional baseball to come out as gay during his career. Granted, that was after decades of remaining in the closet, and Scott writes vividly and movingly about having to “play the game”: maintaining a facade of straightness while privately becoming his true self and building a lasting relationship with his future husband. He navigated this obstacle course at a time when his MLB career was just taking off—and when North America was consumed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Scott’s story isn’t only about his leading a sort of double life, then opening himself up to the world and discovering a new generosity of spirit. It’s also a baseball story, filled with insights and memorable anecdotes that come so naturally from someone who spent decades among the world’s greatest baseball players, managers, and games. Scott’s story is fascinating both for his umpiring career and for his being a pioneer for LGBTQ people within baseball and across sports.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496230447
Publisher: Nebraska
Publication date: 05/01/2022
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 499,720
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Dale Scott worked as a Major League umpire until 2017 when—due to multiple concussions—he retired. His career included three World Series, three All-Star Games, six League Championship Series, twelve Division Series, and over ninety-one postseason games. An Oregon native, he lives in Portland with Michael, his husband, and their yellow Lab, Wylie. Rob Neyer serves as commissioner of the West Coast League and currently hosts the weekly podcast SABRCast with Rob Neyer. He has also written or cowritten seven books, including Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game, winner of the 2018 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year. Billy Bean is vice president and special assistant to the commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword by Billy Bean
1. Nutcutters, Polebenders, and Shithouses
2. Eugene
3. Playing the Game
4. “You Were Terrible!”
5. “He’s That Blind SOB”
6. Only in the Dominican
7. Getting the Call
8. When Sparky Quit Chewing
9. “Mike, Your Mom Is Blasting Me”
10. Sophomore Slump
11. For the Last Time
12. “I Can Put Two and Two Together”
13. TK
14. Hardly the First
15. “What Do You Mean, Colorful?”
16. Nolan and George
17. Hello Again, Boss
18. Jeffrey Who?
19. A Long Way from Bradenton
20. “What Flavor Was the Kool-Aid?”
21. W.
22. Like a Human Blood Clot
23. “Hell Has Frozen Over”
24. “Hey, Lou, You Missed a Spot”
25. “I Am the Walrus”
26. Postseason from Hell
27. Get the Hell Out of the Way
28. From Frank’s Friendly to Jimmy Fallon
29. Flip
30. “I Can’t Believe This Is Happening Again”
31. No Complaints, No Regrets
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