Orel Hershiser mystery umpire

The other day on Dodger squeeze play I heard Orel tell Joe Davis about the time he was thrown out of a baseball game. Evidently, Orel had gone his whole career without being tossed but that came to an end when he was the pitching coach for the Rangers.

To hear Orel tell it, Buck Showalter was his manager, and he asked Orel to go to the mound and ask the umpire when he showed up “is this going to be the strike zone we are working with the rest of the game”. Orel said he did exactly that and was tossed.

The key here is that it was a rookie umpire who had been called up and I think Orel said it was the umpire’s first game. Buck Showalter made a fuss and the other umpires came in to see what Orel had done to get tossed. He told them and the next day, Orel said he had an envelope on his chair from those other umpires saying they were sorry he had been tossed.

And to top it off the umpire was sent back to the minors the next day. Joe Davis asked Orel if he knew if the umpire had made it back to the major leagues and Orel said he didn’t, that he didn’t keep track of him. That part surprised me because if I had a 30-year major league playing/coaching career I’d keep track of the umpire that threw me out. It is possible that the umpire was only scheduled for that one game, maybe someone had been sick or took a quick personal leave, but wouldn’t it be something if that umpire had finally reached his dream of being a major league umpire only to see it dashed after one game because he had a quick hook with Orel Hershiser?

If Bob Timmerman read this blog I’d ask him who the umpire was and what happened to him, but he doesn’t, but it left me curious, and maybe someday I’ll see if anyone knows who this umpire was.

[Update for those who don’t read the comments]

I read this and e-mailed Bob. He came back with this:

Matt Hollowell



  1. I read this and e-mailed Bob. He came back with this:

    Matt Hollowell



  2. Awesome, thanks Jon. From his Wiki he was a vacation umpire from 2001 – 2004 who retired in 2004. The game that Bob referred to was in 2004. Being a vacation umpire means that his gig was probably up after the Orel game and that he wasn’t sent back to the minors as punishment, but it is curious that he retired after a fairly short stint as a vacation umpire.


    • 68elcamino427

      Looks like the lesson Hollowell learned

      Is that if you can not get along with Hershiser

      You just aren’t able to get along

      All’s well that ends


  3. In fact the more I read of this post the more intrigued I became. Thanks Phil and Jon and to the unparalleled research skills of Bob T


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