Felber: Misjudgment calls in baseball

From SABR member Bill Felber at The National Pastime Museum on May 31, 2016:

Prior to the introduction of instant replay, a baseball umpire’s judgment was sacrosanct, impervious—by law—even to the filing of a formal protest. Like popes speaking ex cathedra, umpires’ safe-out, fair-foul, and other judgment calls were deemed infallible.

The truth, of course, has always been otherwise. As replay review has periodically demonstrated, umpires from time to time simply miss. They are, to adapt Dickens, human and prone to fall.

Few, however, fall quite as frequently within minutes as did Charles Johnston, an American League umpire working home plate in an August 6 contest in 1937 between the Yankees and Indians at Yankee Stadium. Johnston’s stumbling performance not only led to the end of his career, but resulted in the game’s outcome being overturned by American League President Will Harridge.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/misjudgment-calls

Originally published: May 31, 2016. Last Updated: May 31, 2016.