MLB Umpire Ángel Hernández Retires After Working More Than 30 Years

MLB umpire Ángel Hernández retired, effective immediately, to end a career that began in 1991. He was promoted to a full-time MLB umpire in 1993.

The 62-year-old last worked an MLB game on May 9. Jacob Metz replaced Hernández’s on Lance Barksdale’s crew. Hernández’s retirement comes on the heels of umpiring just 10 games last season because of a back injury.

Hernández was among the most well-known umpires, but that largely was due to the ire he regularly drew from players, managers and fans alike. Though, Hernández’s reputation and accuracy with calling balls and strikes was recently defended by fellow umpires in an article published by The Athletic.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had his own run-in with Hernández during the 2021 season after a balk call on Jimmy Nelson and a ruling that Chris Taylor went around on a check swing. Roberts was immediately ejected after protesting the call on Taylor’s attempted check swing.

“I didn’t agree with the earlier balk call with Nelson, and then right there, I’m in the third base dugout so I don’t have a great angle, but it was pretty clear to me from the backside that C.T. didn’t go around,” Roberts explained after the game.

“As a hitter, anyone who has played the game, knows that a 2-0 count is considerably different than a 1-1 count. I just think we all need to be held accountable, and I felt he missed it.”

Ángel Hernández sues MLB

In 2017, Hernández filed a discrimination lawsuit against MLB. At the time, he had last worked a World Series game in 2005.

A perceived lack of postseason assignments and not being promoted to crew chief were the foundation of the Cuban-American bringing forth a lawsuit against MLB.

Hernández specifically placed blame on league executive Joe Torre, who was in charge of umpires. The lawsuit was dismissed by a U.S. District Court in 2021, with MLB being granted a summary judgement. The 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals then upheld the decision last August.

“Hernández has failed to establish a statistically significant disparity between the promotion rates of white and minority umpires,” the appeals court wrote in their 11-page decision.

“MLB has provided persuasive expert evidence demonstrating that, during the years at issue, the difference in crew chief promotion rates between white and minority umpires was not statistically significant. Hernández offers no explanation as to why MLB’s statistical evidence is unreliable.”

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