Obit of the Day: Longtime MLB Umpire
Marty Springstead’s career did not end well. In January 2010 Springstead, a supervisor of umpires, along with Rich Garcia and Jim McKean were fired by Major League Baseball in response to several bad calls by their supervisees in the 2009 playoffs. (You can read the specifics here.) Springstead who was fired after a “four minute phonecall” saw 43 years of service disappear.
Springstead began his career in the majors in 1966. Over the next 19 seasons he served on the field for four League Championship Series, three World Series, and three All Star games. Since umpires are selected for postseason work based on performance, it’s obvious Springstead performed well. He was also behind the plate for two no-hitters both involving the Oakland A’s: Clyde Wright vs. the A’s in 1970 and Mike Warren of the A’s vs. the White Sox in 1983. He was named a supervisor in 1985 and lasted another 24 years in that position.
Springstead was 74 years old.
(Image of Springstead behind the plate, Rich Gedman catching for the Red Sox, and the Royals’ George Brett batting on July 18, 1982 is copyright of Dick Leonhardt and available on his flickr account. If you know who coached 3rd for the ‘82 Royals, let me know.)