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Umpire Wally Bell
dies less than a week after working in MLB
I know I
The picture to the left shows Houston
Astros manager Brad Mills, right, arguing with
home plate umpire Wally Bell during the eighth
inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee
Brewers in Milwaukee.
Bell just finished his 21st season with Major
League Baseball. He worked two All Star Games
(1997, 2000), six Divisional Series (98, 99,
2003, 2004, 2006, 2012), four League
Championship Series (2000, 2001, 2005, 2010),
and the 2006 World Series
Frank Pulli, known to his peers as "Ish" passed
away this morning after a long battle and
complications with Parkinson's disease.
Frank Pulli was a Major League Umpire "and an
excellent one" as Hall of Fame Umpire, Doug
Harvey (and former partner) would say. A 28 year
veteran of the National League, Pulli umpired
3,774 National League games, Four World Series
(1978,1983,1990 Crew Chief, and 1995), Six
National League Championship Series
(1975,1979,1986,1991,1993, and 1997), and Four
National League Divisional Series (1981,
1995,1996, and 1998). He worked two All Star
games in 1977 and was the Crew Chief in the 1988
He started his umpiring in Easton, Pennsylvania
where he grew up and in 1968 he worked the final
championship game of the VFW Teener League
National Championship. He later umpired in the
National League (6/20/1977)with the catcher on
the losing team of that Championship game.
At graduation from Umpire's School, he finished
high on a list of candidates to be put into the
minor leagues and within four years the National
League purchased his contract from the
International League and Frank Victor Pulli
became a full time National League Umpire in the
spring of 1972.
When Major League Baseball started the Umpire
Development Program, Frank was asked by Barney
Deary (Director of Umpire Development) to be one
of the lead instructors.
known for his hustle and great positioning,
Frank was an excellent teacher of umpiring.
Frank mentored the likes of Jerry Crawford, Ed
Montague, Stever Palermo, Richie Garcia, Mike
Reilly, Eric Gregg, Joe West, Charlie Williams,
Steve Rippley, Drew Coble, Tim McClelland,
Angel Hernandez, Steve Rippley, Bob Davidson, Ed
Rapuano, Larry Poncino, Tom Hallion, Greg Bonin,
Gary Darling, Dave Demuth and Mike Winters.
One of twenty two umpires that were illegally
terminated by Major League Baseball in 1999,
Frank was awarded his job back with back pay and
benefits and even though he never returned to
the field he helped numerous umpires in a
supervisory capacity with MLB... a compliment to
his ability proving that Major League Baseball
fired him and the other twenty one to break the
union and not because of his or their work.
In 1999 he was the first umpire to look at a
replay to try and make sure his decision was
correct, in a game between the Marlins and
Cardinals. He was criticized by the National
League for doing so, but, the very play
that he took a look at in 1999 was the first
thing Major League Baseball endorsed in their
instituting of "Instant Replay."
Frank is survived by his brother Mickey, his
wife Kim, and children Vickie, Michael,
Michelle, Frank, Jr., Candace, and Nickie.
Frank Victor Pulli, a great brother, husband,
teacher, partner, and umpire gone at the age of
Angel Behind the Plate By Darius Thigpen published by Rocket Sports &
We tend to forget that coaches and
players are people, too. We forget that they are
capable of mistakes, have families and a life
outside of their sport. What about the
officials? We forget they’re human, too, which
means they won’t get every call right.
Furthermore, we forget they are also capable of
greatness in their own way.
MLB umpire has been called one of the worst by
various people throughout baseball. Texas
Rangers manager Ron Washington said “Angel is
just bad,” reported by NBC Sports. Washington
Nationals’ rookie sensation Bryce Harper got
into a full-blown argument with him during a
game. But what each of these Angel bashings
failed to mention was Hernandez’s incredible
charity work in south Florida.
Hernandez is the Chairman of the Board of the
West Pembroke Pines Miracle League. The Miracle
League was formed in 1998 to enable disabled
children to participate in little league
baseball. The Miracle League is a nationwide
group started by the Rockdale Youth Baseball
Association in Rockdale, Ga. The slogan of the
league is “Because every child deserves to play
“I am blessed with the opportunity of seeing
children who normally wouldn’t have the chance
to play baseball do just that,” Hernandez wrote
on the Angel Miracle League website. “[This is]
a cause very dear to my heart.”
Remember Dick Bavetta? Of course you don’t. Like
most officials he is not known—until he really
messes up. Let me jog your memory with the 2007
NBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas. The race
against Charles Barkley on TNT was a pretty
interesting event. Ah, now you remember. Well
that little race against the Round Mound of
Rebound raised $75,000 for the Las Vegas Boys &
Despite grumblings Bavetta is a bad referee, he
is 72 and has been an official for 37 years
without missing a game. In addition to being the
ironman of officiating, Bavetta established and
finances the Lady Bavetta Scholarships for
minority students, which he started in 1986. He
has also volunteered with the Double-H Hole in
the Woods Ranch which helps with childhood
cancer and HIV.
It’s a shame that these are the conditions it
had to come under, but Shannon Eastin is
breaking history. If we can recognize in the
great acts officials have done off the field, we
should also recognize refs need to be taken care
of financially and the NFL refs are on strike
because they’re not satisfied with the money
they’re receiving from the NFL.
Although the gloomy business side of the game
has led to replacement referees, it has opened
the door for Shannon Eastin to become the first
woman referee. Thursday during the San Diego
Chargers and Green Bay Packers preseason game
she made her debut on the NFL level. Eastin, an
official in lower level college football for
years, is one of the many replacement refs under
scrutiny during the 2012 preseason.
With the news that the replacement refs may
continue into the regular season many fans and
players are less than thrilled, but it is nice
to see these refs, like Eastin make their
personal dreams come true by refereeing at the
I know it’s tough for us to remember, but the
officials you want to call “idiot” “blind” or
other derogatory terms are people, as well. They
can achieve great accomplishments and are
susceptible to downfalls, too. As much as we
don’t care about refs and their personal lives,
it’s nice to the human side besides the
“stripes” and the good side behind “blue".
Goose Gossage does
his best Bob Marley imitation at the
Celebrity Player's Tour event in
Jamaica. West & Gossage were part of the
tournament held at the White Witch &
Half Moon Bay Golf courses in Jamaica.
Hall of Famer
Johnny Bench and Major League Umpire Joe
West meet at Camp LeJuene for the
Marine Corps Wounded Warriors Golf
September in Anaheim - Oops, Los Angeles
Angels @ Anaheim Friends Meet - Old and New
From left to right
Ray Hungerford (former airport manager
for Air New Zealand, Joe West, Fred
Rodgers (Editor Baseball Gold & Sabre
Member), and Bill Slayback (former
pitcher for the Detroit Tigers)
Longtime Baseball Umpire, Harry
Wendelstedt, dies at age 73
All Major League Umpires will be wearing a patch in memory of Harry Wendelstedt
Long time Major League Umpire Harry
Wendelstedt passed away on Friday March 9, 2012 after a long battle with brain
cancer. He was 73.
His 33 year major league career began in
1966 and he retired in 1998. He umpired five World Series (1973, 1980, 1986,
1991 and 1995) serving as the Crew Chief in 1980 and 1995. He also umpired seven
National League Championship Series (1970, 1972, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1990) ,
three National League Divisional Series (1995, 1996 and 1997) and four All- Star
Games (1968, 1976, 1983, 1992). He ranks 11th all time in number of years
umpired in the Major Leagues and 5th all time for number of games worked with
4,500. A former President of the Major League Umpire's Association, he was
instrumental in helping start and build the umpire's union.
called balls and strikes in 5
no-hitters, tying an NL record held
by Bill Klem.
On May 31,
1968, Wendelstedt made a famous call
that preserved Los Angeles Dodgers
pitcher Don Drysdale's consecutive
shutouts and scoreless innings
streaks. Giants catcher Dick Dietz
came to the plate in the top of the
9th inning with the bases loaded and
no outs. On a 2-2 count, Drysdale
hit Dietz on the elbow, apparently
forcing in a run that would have
ended the streaks. However,
Wendelstedt ruled that Dietz made no
attempt to avoid being struck by the
pitch, and called him back. Drysdale
retired Dietz on a short fly ball
and got out of the inning without
yielding a run, earning his fifth
(of six) consecutive shutouts.
The "Harry Wendelstedt Umpire's
School" has taught more Major League Umpires than any other school in history.
Today the majority of Major League Umpires attended the Wendelstedt School. And
no one anywhere in the world has taught more amateur umpires the skills and
techniques of umpiring than Wendelstedt.
He's survived by his daughter Amy and his son Hunter who like his father is a
Major League Umpire.... and he wears Harry's old number "21." His memorial
service was held March 13th. It was so large they had to hold it at the Ormond
Beach Fine Arts Center. He was honored by full military color guard from the
United States Marine Corps.
This 1998 file photo shows veteran Harry Wendelstedt, left,
with his son, Hunter Wendelstedt, also an umpire.