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Harry Wendelstedt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harry Hunter Wendelstedt, Jr. (July 27, 1938 – March 9, 2012) was an umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the National League from 1966 to 1998. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He umpired in the World Series in 1973, 1980, 1986, 1991 and 1995, serving as crew chief in 1980 and 1995. He also officiated in seven National League Championship Series (1970, 1972, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1990) and four All-Star games (1968, 1976, 1983, 1992), calling balls and strikes in 1976. He umpired in the National League Division Series in 1995, 1996 and 1997. He wore uniform number 21.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Inside the School that Trains Umpires
  • ✪ 1988 NLCS Gm3: Howell ejected after glove examined
  • ✪ WS2014 Gm5: Wendelstedt shaken up after foul ball


- [Voiceover] Another season of America's past time is just around the corner. The infield dirt needs raking, the batter's box needs chalking, and home plate needs to be, hey, who's supposed to clean home plate? - That would be one of the umpire’s responsibilities. Got to make sure the plate's clean. - [Voiceover] Look at the... - Safe. - [Voiceover] Excuse me, look at all the... - He's safe. - [Voiceover] Umpires. Thank you. For four weeks every year, 150 aspiring umpires descend unto Ormond Beach, Florida, all because of this guy. Introduce yourself, Hunter. - Sure, my name's Hunter Wendelstedt. I'm a major league baseball umpire number 21 and I am the owner operator of the Wendelstedt Umpire School down here in Ormond Beach, Florida. - [Voiceover] And student's come from all over the world. - [Hunter] We've got Taiwan, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, and Germany represented internationally, and I believe we're coming from 36 of the 50 states. - [Voiceover] But what do students learn at umpire school? - [Hunter] We're putting the foundation down. - [Voiceover] Students learn the difference between balls. - Ball four. - [Vocieover] And Strikes. (yelling) - [Voiceover] Foul. - Foul. - [Voiceover] Fair. Guess there's no call for that one. Safe. - Safe. - [Voiceover] And out. - He's out. - [Voiceover] But there's got to be more to it, right? - The most important lesson of umpiring, you always have to be honest with yourself. If an umpire makes a mistake, you need to man up and be honest with yourself, and you fix it so it doesn't happen again. (clapping) - [Voiceover] So after countless calls and balls, walks and talks, these blues collect their diplomas and prepare to say goodbye to umpire school, ready to take their place behind home plate at Yankee Stadium, right Hunter? - Best case scenario, seven to nine years to get a full time major league job. You can go to med school and law school in the same time that it takes an umpire to reach it to the major leagues. - [Voiceover] OK, so why would you do it at all? - [Hunter] Whether it's little league or major league baseball, every umpire has to sacrifice something for their love of the game. - [Voiceover] Maybe the majors won't come knocking anytime soon, but thanks to the Wendelstedt Umpire School, these umps are ready to strike out at any opportunity. - I really ain't that sure I get that metaphor. - [Voiceover] Hunter, that makes perfect sense, come on.


Major League Baseball career

Wendelstedt called balls and strikes in five no-hitters, tying an NL record held by Bill Klem. As a home plate umpire, Wendelstedt was known for keeping a wide strike zone. When a batter struck out swinging, he flailed his right arm straight up in the air. When a batter struck out looking, he applied the notorious "chainsaw" move.

On May 31, 1968, Wendelstedt made a 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 shutout.

On October 8, 1988, in Game 3 of the 1988 NLCS, Wendelstedt ejected Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jay Howell from the game for having pine tar in his glove. Mets manager Davey Johnson asked the umpires to check Howell, and Wendelstedt, the crew chief, ejected Howell after finding pine tar in his glove. Howell was later suspended for the rest of the series.

Wendelstedt's son, Harry Hunter Wendelstedt III, followed in his father's footsteps and is a current major league umpire. The younger Wendelstedt goes by his middle name of "Hunter" professionally. To honor his father, Hunter also wears uniform number 21.

Umpire training

In 1977, Wendelstedt took over control of the Al Somers Umpire School from its founder (who had trained Wendelstedt), renaming it the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School. He ran the school until his death and it continues to bear his name. His son Hunter now leads the school, located in Ormond Beach, Florida.[1]


Harry Wendelstedt died at the age of 73 on March 9, 2012, after suffering from brain cancer for several years.[2][3][4]

See also


  1. ^ Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School Program History Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School
  2. ^ Kernan, Sean. "Ormond's Harry Wendelstedt, Major League Baseball umpire, dead at 73 - Breaking News". Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  3. ^ Longtime umpire Harry Wendelstedt dies at 73
  4. ^ Longtim umpire Harry Wendelstedt dies Sports Illustrated

External links

This page was last edited on 28 April 2019, at 18:03
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