Friday, August 30, 2013

In Memoriam: Remembering NL Umpire Frank Pulli

28-year NL umpire Frank Pulli passed away at the age of 78 due to complications from Parkinson's disease.

Born on March 22, 1935 in Eaton, Pennsylvania, Pulli began his umpiring career locally after a stint in the US Air Force, working the VFW Teener League National Championship in 1968. Shortly thereafter, Pulli graduated from pro umpires' school and was soon promoted to the International League. Hired by the NL in 1972, Pulli worked over 30 years in professional baseball, umpiring 3,774 National League games and serving as one of the lead instructors for MLB's Umpire Development Program before falling prey to the 1999 mass resignation debacle. After his forced retirement and subsequent court-ordered reinstatement, Pulli joined the merged MLB office as an umpire supervisor in 2000 and played a significant role in the development of Pitch f/x predecessor QuesTec Umpire Information System. Pulli retired from baseball completely in 2007.

NL Umpire Frank Pulli.
Presenting the UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire Frank Pulli.
Name: Frank Victor Pulli
Nickname: Ish
Date of Birth: March 22, 1935
Place of Birth: Eaton, Pennsylvania
Date of Death: August 28, 2013
Place of Death: Palm Harbor, Florida

MiLB Leagues Worked: Midwest, Eastern, International
MLB Debut: 1972 (NL) / Last Game: 1999 (NL)
Level: NL
Umpire Uniform Number: 14
Crew Chief: Yes
Ejection History: 1 (1972), 3 (1973), 1 (1974), 1 (1975), 4 (1976), 6 (1977), 0 (1978-1982), 1 (1983), 2 (1984), 0 (1985), 3 (1986), 1 (1987), 0 (1988-89), 2 (1990), 0 (1991), 1 (1992), 0 (1993-94), 1 (1995), 6 (1996), 2 (1997), 2 (1998), 0 (1999); 37 Total.
First Ejection: 4/24/72 (Cesar Cedeno; Reason = Safe/Out Call at first base)
Final Ejection: 7/15/98 (Jim Leyland; Reason = Out No-Call, runner passing another runner)
Most Common Ejectee: Jim Leyland (2; 8/17/90 [Balk], 7/15/98 [Safe/Out])

Postseason and Special Events History
2 All-Star Game: 1977 (LF), 1988 (HP, -cc)
4 Division Series: 1981, 1995, 1996, 1998
6 Championship Series: 1975, 1979, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1997
4 World Series: 1978, 1983, 1990, 1995

Notes: Ruled Yankees runner Reggie Jackson did not interfere with a throw during the 1978 World Series.
» First umpire to consult instant replay during game; confirmed umpire Greg Gibson's call of double (5/31/99)


  1. I remember the game with the replay. It was at old Joe Robbie Stadium. I watched it on tv and remember thinking "man that is an important move on his part!" I also remember fully supporting his choice to consult the cameras.

  2. I always enjoyed watching Frank work. A true professional who brought a lot of energy to the game.

  3. And he had the coolest strike 3 call. RIP Frank


    small vignette on Frank Pulli's plate mechanics

  5. RIP Frank....... Ned Yost was ejected by Wil Little for arguing his strike zone. I have been impressed by Hamari, Wolcott, and Gibson III in his brief time, but Little not so much.

  6. Can see a little bit of it in the video Jupes linked to.

  7. Here's the reason for the big spike in ejections in 1996: