Ten MLB umpires, including seven crew chiefs, are set to retire at the end of the month, marking the largest turnover at the job since 1999, a source familiar with the situation told ESPN.
Part of the retirement was due to nagging injuries, and other groups entered the league around the same time, so it’s a coincidence.
Respected crew chiefs Ted Barrett, Greg Gibson, Tom Harrion, Sam Holbrook, Jerry Meals, Jim Reynolds and Bill Welke are among the group to remove the chest protectors, and Marty Foster, Paul Nauert and Tim Timmons will retire. .
In a phone interview, Barrett said, “I’m so grateful to have the career I’ve accomplished and to be a part of baseball history.” I’m so proud of what I have, for all of us.”
The retirement has nothing to do with the field rule changes scheduled for 2023, nor the potential introduction of an ABS (Automatic Ball and Strike) system at the MLB level in the near future.
The league promises to promote or hire 10 new umpires next month, making for a more diverse group, but the first-ever female MLB umpire won’t be among them. I was able to finally break through that barrier because I worked at Double A in .
The retirement comes a year after Joe West, who has refereeed the most games in history, announced his retirement. MLB has lost decades of experience in the last two offseasons.
“They’re great players,” Chicago Cubs manager and former catcher David Ross said. Harion has one of the most aggressive punch-outs in the game.You always see him reaching for the sky…one of those signature moves you see i miss it
The crew chiefs alone have gone to 16 World Series appearances and five Fall Classics, led by Barrett. He was behind David’s Cone perfect his game in 1999 and Greg Maddux’s 300th winning plate in 2004.
The meal sat behind Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game in 1998 and Justin Verlander’s no-hitter catcher in 2011.
Gibson was the first umpire to have a call overturned based on a manager’s challenge in 2014, and was behind the plate in Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter later that season. I have worked in league baseball for over 200 combined seasons.
The last time the league added as many as eight new umpires was in 2014 to account for instant replay. The current crew is part of a rotation working in New York’s Instant His Replay Room.
Barrett admits that work has good days and bad days. Early in his career, one of his toughest things happened when he was warned about former pitcher David Cohn’s backdoor slider.
“I’ve seen a lot of underage sliders, so I thought I was ready,” Barrett said. “I called him the ball too early. Then it went over the plate and into[catcher]Mike McFarlane’s glove. Cohn was just shaking his head. McFarlane said, ‘Have him a baby.’ Is it your first time?”
“I knew I was in the big leagues.”