Ron Kulpa

Last updated
Ron Kulpa
Ron Kulpa 2011.jpg
Kulpa in 2011
Born: (1968-10-05) October 5, 1968 (age 50)
St. Louis, Missouri
debut
July 23, 1998
Crew Information
Umpiring crew15
Crew members
Career highlights and awards
Special Assignments

Ronald Clarence Kulpa (born October 5, 1968) is an umpire in Major League Baseball. He wears uniform number 46.

Umpire (baseball) person charged with officiating a baseball game

In baseball, the umpire is the person charged with officiating the game, including beginning and ending the game, enforcing the rules of the game and the grounds, making judgment calls on plays, and handling the disciplinary actions. The term is often shortened to the colloquial form ump. They are also sometimes addressed as blue at lower levels due to the common color of the uniform worn by umpires. In professional baseball, the term blue is seldom used by players or managers, who instead call the umpire by name. Although games were often officiated by a sole umpire in the formative years of the sport, since the turn of the 20th century, officiating has been commonly divided among several umpires, who form the umpiring crew. The position is analogous to that of a referee in many other sports.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901, respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the major league clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

Contents

Umpiring career

Kulpa's professional umpiring career began in 1992 and he advanced to the Pacific Coast League in 1998. Kulpa was one of the 22 umpires promoted in the wake of the Major League Umpires Association's mass-resignation strategy in July 1999, and was named to the National League staff for the remainder of the 1999 season. When the umpiring staffs from the two leagues merged for the 2000 season, Kulpa began working in both leagues.

The Pacific Coast League (PCL) is a Minor League Baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern, and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one grade below Major League Baseball. It is officially named the Pacific Coast League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. Its headquarters are in Round Rock, Texas.

The Major League Umpires Association was a union for the umpires of both the American League and the National League. It was formed in 1970. It was superseded by the World Umpires Association which became the bargaining agent for MLB umpires before the 2000 season.

He has worked several MLB Special Events, including the All-Star Game (2001, 2015), Division Series (2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), League Championship Series (2005, 2013, 2014), and World Series (2011). He also officiated in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Major League Baseball All-Star Game exhibition game played by Major League Baseball players representing each league

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual professional baseball game sanctioned by Major League Baseball (MLB) contested between the All-Stars from the American League (AL) and National League (NL), currently selected by fans for starting fielders, by managers for pitchers, and by managers and players for reserves.

2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 72nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10, 2001 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, home of the Seattle Mariners of the American League. The American League defeated the National League, 4–1. This was Cal Ripken, Jr.'s 19th and final All-Star Game. It was also the final All-Star Game for San Diego Padres right fielder Tony Gwynn.

2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 86th edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The game was played at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio on Tuesday, July 14. It was televised nationally on Fox. The American League All-Stars defeated the National League All-Stars by a score of 6–3.

Controversies

Kulpa was head-butted by Carl Everett of the Boston Red Sox in 2000 during an argument about the location of the inner boundary of the batter's box. Everett was suspended for 10 games and fined.

Carl Everett American baseball player

Carl Edward Everett III is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. A switch hitter, he played for eight teams over the course of a 14-year career. He was a member of the Chicago White Sox when they won the 2005 World Series. He threw right-handed and played all outfield positions, and occasionally designated hitter.

Boston Red Sox Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The Boston Red Sox are an American professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. The Red Sox have won nine World Series championships, tied for the third-most of any MLB team, and they have played in 13. Their most recent appearance and win was in 2018. In addition, they won the 1904 American League pennant, but were not able to defend their 1903 World Series championship when the New York Giants refused to participate in the 1904 World Series. Founded in 1901 as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox' home ballpark has been Fenway Park since 1912. The "Red Sox" name was chosen by the team owner, John I. Taylor, circa 1908, following the lead of previous teams that had been known as the "Boston Red Stockings", including the forerunner of the Atlanta Braves.

Working first base in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series (his first World Series as an umpire), Kulpa controversially called St. Louis Cardinals hitter Matt Holliday safe after Holliday grounded into what would have been the second out of a routine double play in the game's fourth inning. Kulpa claimed that Holliday had arrived at first base prior to the tag from Texas Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli, although replays subsequently proved that Napoli had indeed tagged him out by a full stride, prior to Holliday's stumbling across the base and falling. [1] Kulpa later told a pool reporter after the game that he was aware Napoli had tagged Holliday, but he thought Holliday's foot was already on the base. He did not ask for a second opinion. [1] When the game ended, Kulpa reviewed the play on tape and admitted he should have called Holliday out. The Cardinals went on to win the game 16-7, and eventually won the Series in seven games.

2011 World Series 107th edition of Major League Baseballs championship series

The 2011 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2011 season. The 107th edition of World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the American League (AL) champion Texas Rangers and the National League (NL) champion St. Louis Cardinals; the Cardinals defeated the Rangers in seven games to win their 11th World Series championship and their first since 2006.

St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team in St. Louis, Missouri, United States

The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Busch Stadium has been their home ballpark since 2006. One of the nation's oldest and most successful professional baseball clubs, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, more than any other NL team and second in MLB only to the New York Yankees. The team has won 19 National League pennants, third-most of any team. St. Louis has also won 14 division titles in the East and Central divisions.

Matt Holliday American baseball player

Matthew Thomas Holliday is an American former professional left fielder and first baseman. He is the outfielding and hitting coach at Oklahoma State University. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals, and New York Yankees. A World Series champion in 2011 with the Cardinals, Holliday, through prodigious hitting contributions, has played a key role in seven postseasons, including the Rockies' first-ever World Series appearance in 2007 and Cardinals' playoff success in the 2010s. His distinctions include a National League (NL) batting championship, the 2007 NL Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award, seven All-Star selections, and four Silver Slugger Awards. Other career accomplishments include 300 home runs, more than 2,000 hits, 100 stolen bases, and batting over .300 eight times.

On August 12, 2013, he ejected Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski for arguing a ball three call during pitcher Yu Darvish's bid for a perfect game against the Houston Astros. The perfect game was broken up moments later on an ensuing ball four pitch to Astros batter Jonathan Villar. [2]

Yu Darvish Japanese baseball pitcher

Yu Darvish is a Japanese professional baseball starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball. Darvish previously played in MLB for the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodgers and in Nippon Professional Baseball for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. In international play, Darvish pitched in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 World Baseball Classic as a member of the Japanese national team.

Houston Astros Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Houston, Texas, United States

The Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston, Texas. The Astros compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division, having moved to the division in 2013 after spending their first 51 seasons in the National League (NL). The Astros have played their home games at Minute Maid Park since 2000.

Jonathan Villar Dominican baseball player

Jonathan Rafael Villar Roque is a Dominican professional baseball second baseman for the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers. Prior to 2017, Villar was primarily a shortstop.

During the 9th inning of a Red Sox-Yankees game on May 6, 2016, the Red Sox had the bases loaded when Kulpa ruled Andrew Miller's 3-2 breaking ball to David Ortiz a strike. According to ESPN, the pitch was low and outside of the strike zone by 5 ½ inches. Had the pitch been ruled a ball, Ortiz would have walked in the game-tying run. [3] On the immediately preceding pitch, Ortiz had expressed displeasure with Kulpa's 3-1 strike call, a correct ruling on a pitch located within the strike zone, but caught oddly by catcher Brian McCann; Manager John Farrell was ejected in Ortiz's stead following the 3-1 pitch, while Ortiz was ejected following the 3-2 pitch. [4]

During an April 2019 game between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, Kulpa was involved in several incidents involving the Astros and ejected hitting coach Alex Cintron and manager A. J. Hinch. Kulpa claimed that he could "Do whatever I want", causing players and fans to complain in the following days about the extent of an umpire’s power. [5]

Notable games

Kulpa was the home plate umpire when Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander threw a no-hitter at Comerica Park vs. the Milwaukee Brewers on June 12, 2007. [6] Five days before Verlander's no-hitter, Kulpa called balls and strikes in a game between the Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics in which Boston pitcher Curt Schilling had a no-hitter until Shannon Stewart broke up the no-hitter with a single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. [7]

Kulpa was the first base umpire on July 09, 2011 when Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees got his 3000th career hit against the Tampa Bay Rays. He was the plate umpire for Henderson Álvarez's no-hitter on September 29, 2013. [8]

Personal life

Prior to pursuing professional umpiring, Kulpa attended Florissant Valley Community College before transferring to Missouri Baptist College, where he was a member of the baseball team, but rarely played.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Kriegel, Mark. MLB loses chance to change for better FoxSports.com.
  2. "MLB Ejection 129: Ron Kulpa (1; AJ Pierzynski)." Close Call Sports and the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. August 12, 2013.
  3. http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/15478883/david-ortiz-boston-red-sox-irate-two-strike-calls-vs-new-york-yankees
  4. Imber, Gil (May 6, 2016). "MLB Ejections 025|026 - Ron Kulpa (1-2; J Farrell, D Ortiz)". Close Call Sports and the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League.
  5. Umpire Ron Kulpa threw a tantrum in the Astros-Rangers game. Kulpa had allegedly told Hinch "I can do what I want" in the argument, prompting outcry from players and fans regarding the extent of an umpire’s power. - NBC Sports
  6. Verlander fans 12 in first Tigers no-hitter since '84 ESPN.com. Retrieved 24 July 2012
  7. Stewart breaks up Schilling no-hitter with 2 outs in 9th ESPN.com. Retrieved 24 July 2012
  8. Foxsports.com Retrieved 29 September 2013