Sad news form the umpiring world:
Harry Wendelstedt, a National League umpire for 33 years who owned a school that developed dozens of Major League umpires, died Friday at the age of 73.All of us who are longtime baseball fans remember Harry for his more than 30 years as an umpire. And those of us who are longtime Dodgers fans, whether we were alive then or if we know the lore, remember Harry for his controversial call that helped preserve Don Drysdale's scoreless inning streak.
Wendelstedt, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor 10 years ago, according to his son, Major League umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, died in Ormond Beach, Fla., where he lived and where the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School is located.
Wendelstedt umpired in five World Series, seven National League Championship Series and four All-Star Games. He was the crew chief in the 1980 and '95 Fall Classics. His big league career began in '66 and ended in '98.
Harry was a baseball man until the very end:
"He lived for baseball. He lived for umpiring. When we were getting him into the ambulance [this morning] he had MLB [Network] TV on. That's all he would watch."That's the way I want to go out. RIP Harry. Now Drysdale can thank you again in person in baseball heaven.
AP File Photo