Striiiiiike 3! A breakdown of some of Major League Baseball’s most distinctive third-strike calls
Via the Wall Street Journal:
The manual for professional baseball umpires explains how to handle just about every on-field situation. From the backwoods of rookie ball to the grandeur of the big leagues, there is little room for creativity from these men in blue, who are largely invisible.
But a few times during each game, when the third strike whizzes past the hitter and pops the catcher’s glove, the spotlight shines on the umpire standing behind home plate. For that brief moment, an ump can take center stage and, in some cases, exhibit true artistry.
An analysis of all 68 full-time Major League umpires’ strike-three calls reveals 68 unique styles, running the gamut from Gary Darling’s subtle fist pump to Tom Hallion’s violent, Mike Tyson-esque punchout. Though nothing in the guidebook requires umpires to devise elaborate gestures, the called strike three injects a splash of color into the sport.
H/T: Zach Seward.