Tag Archives: Umpire

Marty Springstead Demonstrates How To Eject A Manager

Marty Springstead, Former American League Umpire, Dies At 74 (January 17, 2012)

Major league baseball umpires are beloved by their families and friends, but are generally not appreciated by the fans. When longtime umpire Marty Springstead died after suffering a heart attack on January 17th in Sarasota Florida, I felt sad that one of the more memorable baseball names that I heard throughout my childhood was gone. As a fan, I appreciated Marty Springstead’s umpiring skills  and not just because he would consistently eject Orioles manager and longtime Yankee nemesis Earl Weaver from ballgames during the 1970’s and 1980’s, but because he was from the old school of umpiring and was not flamboyant.

Springstead umpired in the American League from 1966-1985. He went on to become an executive and supervisor of umpires from 1986-2009. He worked in three All-Star Games and three World Series. He also got to be behind the plate for two no-hitters, but missed the chance for a third. He would have been calling balls and strikes on June 1, 1975 when Nolan Ryan pitched his fourth no-hitter, but he took off to be with his wife who was having a baby.  People who knew Springstead said Marty was funny and a great storyteller.

But managers who got under his skin would not see that side of him while he was on the field. Springstead was a very good umpire who took his job seriously and didn’t take flak from players, coaches or managers.  Twice during his career Springstead led the league in manager ejections.

I was among the 10,670 long suffering Yankee fans who attended the ballgame shown in the photo below.

At Yankee Stadium on Saturday, August 26, 1972, the Kansas City Royals had already scored two unearned runs in the third inning, and were leading two to one. There were two outs and Yankees pitcher Rob Gardner had a 1-2 count on Kansas City Royals slugger John Mayberry with two men on base. It looked like Gardner would get out of the inning. Continue reading

And Here’s The Batter’s Box…

Gil McDougald Needs to Be Reminded Where He Can Stand

Photo © Bill Nehez

New York Yankee third baseman Gil McDougald had one of the most unorthodox batting stances of all time.  He would face the pitcher with both feet pointing towards the mound in an open stance.

At Municipal Stadium on June 12, 1953 the Cleveland Indians were upset with where McDougald was standing, claiming his right foot was over the line of the batter’s box. Continue reading

Vintage Photos – Stealing Home

or Jackie Robinson Makes Stealing Home Look Easy

One of the most famous film highlights of a baseball game is from September 28, Game 1 of the 1955 World Series where the Brooklyn Dodgers star Jackie Robinson stole home against the New York Yankees. The photograph above captures the bang-bang action. The play was incredibly close and you could look at the film 100 times and still not be sure of the outcome. Robinson was called safe by umpire Bill Summers. To this day, Yankees catcher Yogi Berra vehemently Continue reading

Lou Gehrig Beats The Throw Home

Solving A Photographic Mystery

People have asked where we get the photos for this web site.  Mostly the online resources at various libraries and eBay have been used.  Sometimes they are part of the contributors photo collections.

This phenomenal photo of Lou Gehrig sliding into home plate is one of millions of photographs available at the Library of Congress web site.  In the old days the photographers were allowed to be on the field during baseball games. There were no Continue reading

Stealing Home

The Most Exciting Play in Baseball Was Accomplished by Rod Carew Seven Times in 1969

Rod Carew’s 2nd steal of home in 1969 – April 19, 3rd inning vs. California Angels. Harmon Killebrew is #3.

It’s a play you hardly see anymore-  the pure stealing of home plate. Not part of a double steal or a failed suicide squeeze attempt.

At the urging of Minnesota Twins manager Billy Martin in 1969, second baseman Rod Carew swiped home an astonishing seven times in one season, tying the major league record of Pete Reiser of the Brooklyn Dodgers set back in 1946.

You’d think that Carew must have stolen a lot of bases that year considering his constant stealing of home. Amazingly, Carew stole a total of only 19 bases that year!

Carew, the future Hall of Famer, told the story of how he perfected the steal of home in his 1979 autobiography Carew by Rod Carew with Ira Berkow (Simon and Schuster ,1979) which is excerpted here.

Carew stole home his record tying seventh time on July 16, 1969  in the second inning against the Chicago White Sox in the first game of a double header at the Twins home park, Metropolitan Stadium. The Twins ended up winning the game 9-8. Continue reading