Friday, July 4, 2014

Confirmed: MLB Hires Quinn Wolcott, Gary Darling Retires

MLB confirmed it has hired Quinn Wolcott to its umpire staff to replace Gary Darling, who has retired after a 28-year career. Major League Baseball's announcement confirms the UEFL rumor of this staff movement.

For some perspective into Darling's 28-year career, consider this: The umpire hired to replace him, Wolcott, is 28 years old.

Hired: Quinn Wolcott (81)
Wolcott made his Major League debut during the Memorial Day Diamondbacks-Rangers doubleheader on May 27, 2013. At the time of his big league debut, the UEFL tagged Wolcott with a *rising star alert*. At the age of 24, he was the youngest umpire promoted to AAA in 2011 and became a Pacific Coast League crew chief at the age of 26, in 2013. His minor league history includes the Arizona, Northwest, Midwest, Carolina, California, Southern and PCL. He officiated the 2012 Arizona Fall League Championship Game and World Baseball Classic qualifying.

Born June 17, 1986 in Puyallup, Washington, the 5'9", 180-pound Wolcott is the youngest active full-time MLB umpire at 28 years of age. At the time of his appointment to the full-time staff, Wolcott has  officiated 149 MLB regular season games and experienced two Major League ejections. His first career ejection occurred May 31, 2014 (Rob Leary; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]) and his second was June 21, 2014 (Bob Melvin; QOC = U [Previously Argued Call/DiMuro Rule]). Through July 3, he had 12 Replay Review decisions and holds an affirmation rate of .583 (7/12 calls confirmed or upheld).

Wolcott has been assigned to Gerry Davis' crew for the next several weeks.

Retired: Gary Darling (37)
Since breaking into the National League in 1986, Darling umpired 3,270 regular season, 85 postseason and two All-Star Games. He finished his career with 111 ejections, his first an attempted tackle and interception of Cubs batter Shawon Dunston, who was tossed for charging the mound. UEFL member tmac: "He was a no nonsense umpire who had 111 EJs in his career and took care of biz.  Widely regarded as one of the best ball-strike guys around."

Born October 9, 1957 in San Francisco, California, His final MLB ejection occurred September 8, 2013 (Mike Aviles; QOC = Y [Safe/Out]). His final playoff series was the 2013 American League Division Series featuring the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers. This series featured a pre-2014 Replay Review of a spectator interference/home run boundary play that affirmed an on-field HR call.

The 56-year-old Darling is the President of the Board of UMPS CARE Charities.


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