June 11, 2011

Major League Umps Settle Wiffle Ball Dispute: A disputed play during a Kalamazoo Wiffle Ball league game was settled by calling Major League umpire Bill Welke. Welke, who was about to officiate a Rockies/Padres game, put his crew on speakerphone to hear player Steve Everett's description of his home run-robbing catch, which carried him over the outfield fence right by the 82-foot sign. The call: Out!

posted by rcade to baseball at 02:58 PM - 3 comments

Every baseball field I've ever seen in suburban Sydney has an outfield fence that size. They probably could have called someone there (and woken them up) for a ruling, too.

Nice story.

posted by owlhouse at 09:11 PM on June 11

I seem to recall Brad Komminsk making a catch along these lines in centerfield at the old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. A quick search for that also brought up a catch by Jay Buhner at Fenway along the bullpens. If I remember correctly both were ruled as being outs. Not sure why this would have been a question, but it is still a sign of a class act by Welke to have taken the time to answer the question.

posted by Demophon at 11:42 AM on June 13

I should have remembered this when I first read the post, but at 70, the memory (and other things) is not what it was. Vic Davalillo, then playing for Cleveland, took a home run away from Boston when he tumbled into the Fenway bullpen after making a sensational catch. I've been trying to find a reference, but with no luck. I do know that it had to be earlier than September of 1964 or sometime in the 1967 season, because I saw it on TV. I was overseas with the Army from 1964 to the end of 1966, and Davalillo was traded from Cleveland in 1967. The most remarkable thing about the catch was that Davalillo stood only 5'7'' and had to leap to get to the ball. He disappeared into the bullpen, and then got to his feet with the ball in his glove.

posted by Howard_T at 03:54 PM on June 13

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