Being an umpire is probably the most nerve-racking job in baseball, besides being a closer. If you make a great call, the fans love you. If you make a horrible call, they hate you.
Here are some funny stories about umpires you may have never heard before, but won’t forget.
Where They Got That Commercial with Lou Pinella
One time during a Triple-A game, umpire Tim McCelland was confronted by Jack McKeon, the manager of the home team. He told McCelland, “I know you got that call right, but I have a big, full house here and my team isn’t playing very well. Can we just stand out here and argue for a bit? I am just going to stand out here and bob my head and raise my hands a little bit, but I am not mad at you. I just want to put on a little bit of a show. When I’m done you run me and I’ll go to the dugout.”
McCelland replied, “That’s fine, whatever you need to do, go ahead and do it.” He told McKeon that he had a good dinner the previous night at a restaurant, and he asked if he’d ever been there. He said no, kicked some dirt, raised his hands and said, “Maybe I should try it sometime!” Then he said, “Well, I think this was enough, why don’t you run me now?” So McCelland did and McKeon walked away.
I Left You A Little Note…
Pitcher Don “Black and Decker” Sutton was known for rubbing the baseball with sandpaper. One afternoon, umpire Doug Harvey thought he caught him. When he asked to inspect Sutton’s glove, Sutton said, “Sure go ahead.” There was, in fact, a piece of paper in the glove, but it wasn’t sandpaper. Harvey unfolded it, and it said, “You’re getting warm, but it’s not here.”
Please, Please, Throw Me Out!
During a very hot spring training game in Florida, Phillies veteran Lenny Dykstra kept yelling and arguing with home plate umpire Eric Gregg.
Finally, Gregg told Dykstra, “Lenny, I know exactly what you want me to do. You want me to run you out of this game. If I got to stay in this heat, you got to stay in this heat, so it doesn’t matter what you call me, how many times you call me, I’m not running you out of this game.” Dykstra stayed in the game and didn’t say any more.