Rather than beginning to eliminate the need for umpires, as is a common misconception about proposed ABS systems, it instead further highlighted the value of the umpiring profession.
“This made umpire’s jobs far more complex and – in many, many ways – more difficult,” White said. “They can’t be nonchalant behind the plate.”
The League’s umpires took their role in testing this material “very seriously,” according to White. “They were active in communicating how they felt about these tests, and took a tremendous amount of pride in improving through the season.”
“We don’t have a large national profile,” White explained, “and because of that, the people who work our games often go unrecognized, but [with the implementation of these new tests] they are pioneers. They’re a part of history.”
Isabelle Minasian is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum