Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Train Delay: Umpires Stuck in Traffic, Game Stalled 16 Min

Today's Nats game was delayed because umpires were stuck in traffic, marking the first officiating-related transit delay in Major League Baseball since 2011. Tom Hallion's crew of umpires Phil Cuzzi, Chris Guccione and Ron Kulpa phoned MLB approximately 40 minutes before game-time, advising that although they were only a mile away, traffic was at a standstill. After a 16-minute delay, the White Sox won the inter-league affair, defeating Washington by a 5-2 score. No ejections resulted from the delayed contest.

CB Bucknor works in Cincinnati, 4/22/00.
On July 24, 2012, a three-man umpiring crew transformed into four mid-game as Triple-A call-up John Tumpane hustled through St. Louis to join Jeff Kellogg, Marty Foster and DJ Reyburn to replace Eric Cooper, who had taken ill. That game, however, did start on time and according to schedule.

On August 26, 2011, the umpiring crew of Jerry Layne, Bob Davidson, Brian Knight and Hunter Wendelstedt were ensnared in an accident-provoked 110-freeway traffic jam en route to Dodger Stadium. After arriving at Chavez Ravine at the originally scheduled first pitch time of 7:10 pm, the crew hurriedly donned their game gear in time for a 7:21 pm first pitch. Wendelstedt ejected Rockies Manager Jim Tracy that evening for arguing a no-step balk call.

In May 2000, Larry Young's crew wore Cleveland Indians hats and jackets when their gear, shipped from Seattle, got stuck in Detroit due to inclement weather, only arriving in Cleveland after the first pitch had already been thrown.

In April 2000, lost umpires' equipment after a flight from Montreal resulted in a 27-minute delay in Cincinnati; plate umpire CB Bucknor wore Reds-loaned shin guards, a chest protector and mask as the crew dressed in black rain jackets and pants purchased from a local sporting goods store. Though the crew had arrived in Cincy from Montreal, their gear had mistakenly been shipped to New York. Also on this date, umpires in Chicago wore White Sox apparel because their equipment did not arrive.

MLB began using DHL as the official shipping company of umpires shortly after these and other incidents.


Gil Imber said...

Yes! I remember the Hurdle ejection. Hunter kept hitting his leg to show the no-step balk, but Hurdle kept creeping out farther and farther. As soon as he got to the dirt circle, BOOM. I recall once Eric Gregg was the plate umpire at Wrigley Field and not surprisingly, the uniforms were stuck in the airport (it was a rain storm). I remember tuning into the game on TV and seeing Gregg wearing this tattered blue windbreaker with a big prominent Chicago Cubs logo on the pocket. I think it was in the early 90s.

I think these types of wardrobe malfunctions are missing a great photo opportunity: picture it, an umpire, wearing a jacket or coat with the New York Yankees logo, ejecting someone on the Red Sox. Boston would have a field day.

Gil Imber said...

Tracy, not Hurdle. But still sweet toss :)

Gil Imber said...

Ahhh, DC area traffic, don't miss it a bit. I'm surprised it hasn't happened more often in DC, LA and others with bad traffic.

Gil Imber said...

Also back in the 90's Bruce Froemming and crew wore shorts and t-shirts in Atlanta when their equipment never came.

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