What are some thoughtful documentaries/long-form articles about baseball umpires?
July 24, 2012 10:56 AM   Subscribe

What are some thoughtful documentaries/long-form articles about baseball umpires? I'm wondering if there's a thoughtful, well-done documentary (I'm hoping for something of the caliber of HBO's now-defunct Costas Now) or a long-form article (again, in the caliber of New Yorker or Vanity Fair) that's accessible to folks who aren't exclusively diehard baseball fans.

I'm curious to learn more about everything to do with Major League Baseball umpires, but I can't seem to find anything that takes a big-picture look at the field. Like why are there still no women in the field? What's their typical career path? Are there different tiers of umps within the MLB?

I feel like I've seen some great profiles and pieces on football or basketball referees, but not umps in baseball.
posted by lamprey to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

The first two books by Ron Luciano, while silly (and hilarious) at times, give you a great idea of what it might have been like to be an umpire in the 1970s.
posted by Melismata at 11:16 AM on July 24, 2012

Not exactly what you're looking for, but Deadspin recently profiled every umpire in the Major Leagues in their Better Know an Umpire series.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 11:17 AM on July 24, 2012

This is a little more technical, but good observations about umpires at work.

Also: A professional's take on more women umpires.
posted by mattbucher at 11:39 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The book As They See 'Em has gotten good reviews.
posted by dfan at 11:47 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding As They See 'Em. I read it and found it very good. Terri Gross interviewed the author on Fresh Air four or five years ago, if that's more your style.
posted by OHSnap at 12:29 AM on July 25, 2012

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