Doug Harvey, Hall of Fame Umpire Whom Players Called God, Dies at 87

He umpired his first major league game on April 10, 1962, and during his rookie year he learned a lesson he would never forget.

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Dodgers pitcher Don Sutton argued with Harvey and other umpires after being ejected from a 1978 game. Sutton had been accused of throwing defaced baseballs.

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Associated Press

As he told it, he was in St. Louis, only his third game behind the plate, with Stan Musial at bat. It was the ninth inning, bases loaded, two outs and a full count. As the next pitch approached the plate, Harvey raised his right hand, signaling strike three. But the pitch broke outside by three inches.

“There I am standing with egg on my face,” Harvey remembered in a 1992 interview with Jerome Holtzman for Baseball Digest shortly after he retired. “Musial never looked at me. He asked the bat boy to bring him his glove. Then, without turning, he said, ‘Young fellow, I don’t know what league you came from, but we use the same plate. It’s 17 inches wide.’”

“That’s when I realized why they called him Stan the Man, and I learned not to anticipate the…

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