MLB Umpire Frank Pulli (father of instant replay) Dies

Former NL umpire Frank Pulli died recently at the age 78 from complications from Parkinson’s Decease. Pulli umpired from 1972 to 1999 and worked 4 World Series, 6 league championship series and 2 All-Star games. He was 1 of 22 umpires who lost their jobs in the resignations orchestrated by Richie Phillips, then the head of the umpires’ union.

Pulli’s death comes at a time when the MLB is looking to introduce more instant replay to the game. There is a great deal of controversy around most rule changes, especially those that include the use of video or other technology to assist umpires, but Frank Pulli can serve as a reminder that while we should carefully consider every rule change, the true goal of an umpire is to make the right call. Nearly 15 years ago, Pulli entered a cameraman’s booth to review a play, that was ruled a home run, on the man’s video monitor years before such reviews were allowed. He overturned his own call and ruled the play a double.