Monday, December 7, 2009

Doug Harvey Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Today legendary umpire Doug Harvey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Harvey received 93.8% of the votes from the Veterans Committee.

Nicknamed "God" by baseball players, Harvey commanded respect for his rules knowledge and commitment to his profession. During his 31 years Harvey umpired in five World Series, nine National League Championship Series, and six All-Star Games. While Harvey's achievements may earn him a plaque in Cooperstown, it is his contributions to the art of umpiring that make him a legend.

It is almost a sacred mantra among umpires: "Slow down! Slow down!"

Well, thank Doug Harvey for that advice. He emphasized delaying the call to ensure it is correct. He told Baseball Digest in 1992, "I've got a photograph of Jocko Conlan working first base. Jocko's arm was extended in the out call. But the runner was still short of the bag, and the ball was still in flight. In those days it was common to anticipate the call. Everything was called too quickly."

While Doug Harvey never attended umpire school, his advice on slowing down the timing of a call is a central feature at umpire school. All students are taught to take in the relevant information before reacting or making a call. As a result, better timing makes better umpires.

Congratulations to Doug Harvey on his election, and thanks for the lasting contributions to the profession of umpiring.

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