Thursday, December 9, 2021

2021 Umpire of the Year Award - Pat Hoberg

Pat Hoberg is the UEFL's 2021 Umpire of the Year, voted MLB's best in our annual Awards poll.
Voting: Hoberg (12.2%), Alan Porter (9.5%), Joe West (9.0%), Tripp Gibson & Adam Hamari (7.9%).

Pat Hoberg is the UEFL's 2021 (Best) Umpire of the Year

After three consecutive Promising Umpire of the Year awards (2019, 2020, 2021), Pat Hoberg claims the UEFL's Umpire of the Year honors. Hoberg, who has officiated every postseason since first becoming eligible in 2018, including the highest round of each round of the playoffs when first eligible (which would include a Replay Review assignment for the 2021 World Series), finished near the top of MLB's ball/strike chart (and was the league's most accurate umpire, excluding call-ups [John Libka #1, Alex Tosi #2]).

Wrote Russ, "Since he has entered the league Pat Hoberg has been an elite balls/strike caller and base Umpire. He barely even gets noticed most of the time as he just goes out and does his job mostly without incident and does it damn well. The fact that he was lined up to work a Game 4 Plate in just his 5th season is incredible. He's just so good at what he does."

The Iowa-born Hoberg drew a home plate assignment for MLB's Field of Dreams game in Dyersville.

UEFL Awards History, Pat Hoberg
Promising Umpire of the Year: (201920202021)

The Rules Summit will begin Monday, December 13.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

2021 Ejection of the Year - Tom Hallion & Jeremy Riggs

Tom Hallion and Jeremy Riggs produced 2021's Ejections of the Year [2020: Dan Bellino].
Voting: 160 Hallion (12.0%), 101 Riggs (11.4%), 55 Joe West (9.8%), 103 Cory Blaser (7.4%).

Ejection 160 - Tom Hallion (Andy Green)
Tom Hallion's September 3, 2021 ejection of Chicago Cubs acting manager Andy Green after a correctly officiated bona fide slide rule interference no-call received the most votes for the UEFL Ejection of the Year Award.

During the ensuing argument, Hallion stated to Green, "You don't even know what the f* you're talking about. That's what I'm telling you: You don't always know what the f* you're talking about."

As far as final career ejections are concerned, Hallion's could be near the top of the all-time list.

When Jeremy Riggs ejected Mets manager Luis Rojas as New York visited Pittsburgh on July 18, 2021, it brought into focus several key decisions that had to be made in a very short period of time: Riggs' multiple judgment calls on this play included whether the batted ball hit the batter in the box (no), whether the batted ball touched the lead baserunner along the foul line (no), whether or not the runner interfered with the catcher (no), whether the pitcher first touched the batted ball on the infield in fair or foul territory (fair), whether the third base coach interfered with the defense's play on the trailing runner (no), whether the third baseman obstructed the trailing baserunner (no), and whether the ball left the playing field (no).

Replays indicate Riggs' calls were correct while Rojas, apparently not satisfied with Riggs' response, appeared to assault bump the umpire. Perhaps the ejection accomplished its goal, as the Mets came back from a six-run deficit to defeat the Pirates one day after blowing a six-run lead to lose to Pittsburgh, the first time such an event has occurred in MLB history.

Perhaps best of all, this ejection featured commentary by legendary broadcaster Gary Thorne.

UEFL Awards History, Tom Hallion
Crew Chief of the Year: 2021

UEFL Awards History, Jeremy Riggs

The final postseason award, (Best) Umpire of the Year, will be released next | Videos as follows:

Monday, December 6, 2021

2021 Promising Umpire Award - T Gibson, Pat Hoberg

Tripp Gibson & Pat Hoberg are 2021's Promising Umpires of the Year [2020: Hoberg & John Tumpane].
Voting: T Gibson (17.7%), Hoberg (16.7%), Adam Hamari (14.1%), Jeremie Rehak (12.0%).

Tripp Gibson & Pat Hoberg are UEFL's 2021 Promising Umpires of the Year.

Gibson's first career League Championship Series, a Game 1 plate assignment, solidified his selection as the top-vote getter for the Promising Umpire of the Year Award, an award given to an umpire on the younger side of the MLB ledger who demonstrates a readiness for further advancement and development. Gibson's 2021 LCS plate score was a postseason-high 99.1% (108/109 pitches).

As Russ wrote, "Tripp was one of the best balls/strike Umpires all season and was justifiably rewarded with his first LCS. He was the least experienced 3 going into the season but that didn't matter as he performed tremendously and even spent a lot of time as an acting 2 with Layne out. He is off to a great start in his career and it is only going to continue to blossom."

Hoberg wins this award for the third consecutive season, this time working in the replay room for his first World Series after a Division Series two weeks prior. Hoberg has now officiated every postseason since he became eligible in 2018. 

UEFL Awards History, Tripp Gibson
Fill-In Umpire of the Year: 2014

UEFL Awards History, Pat Hoberg
Promising Umpire of the Year: 2019, 2020

The next postseason award to be released will be Ejection of the Year.