Veteran Umpire Ángel Hernández Retires Following Unsuccessful Discrimination Suit Against MLB

Ángel Hernández, a longtime umpire who sued Major League Baseball unsuccessfully for racial discrimination, is retiring effective immediately.

The 62-year-old Hernández was frequently mocked by players, coaches, and spectators over his more than three-decade tenure for missing calls and being quickly ejected, sometimes in highly publicized circumstances.

In a statement released by MLB on Monday night, Hernández stated that he has made the decision to spend more time with his family.

“Starting with my first major league game in 1991, I have had the very good experience of living out my childhood dream of umpiring in the major leagues. There is nothing better than working at a profession that you enjoy. I treasured the camaraderie of my colleagues and the friendships I have made along the way, including our locker room attendants in all the various cities,” Hernández stated.

“Needless to say, there have been many positive changes in the game of baseball since I first entered the profession. This includes the expansion and promotion of minorities. I am proud that I was able to be an active participant in that goal while being a major league umpire.”

Hernández lost his racial discrimination claim against MLB last summer for a second time after a federal appeals court declined to take his case back. The 2021 District Court ruling granting MLB a summary judgment was maintained by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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In 2017, Hernández filed a suit. He claimed he was the victim of discrimination since he was passed over for crew chief and had not been sent to the World Series since 2005. From 2011 to 2016, he was the crew chief in transition.

In an 11-page ruling, the 2nd Circuit stated that, “Hernández has failed to establish a statistically significant disparity between the promotion rates of white and minority umpires. MLB has provided persuasive expert evidence demonstrating that, during the years at issue, the difference in crew chief promotion rates between white and minority umpires was not statistically significant. Hernández offers no explanation as to why MLB’s statistical evidence is unreliable.”

Due to a back ailment, Hernández missed the entire previous season until July 31.

He has thrown behind the plate eight times this season, the last occasion being on May 9 against the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Guardians.

Hernández, a Cuban-born man, was brought on as a major league umpire in 1993. His latest League Championship Series assignment was in 2016. He worked eight League Championship Series, two World Series (2002, 2005), and three All-Star Games (1999, 2009, 2017).

Three calls at first base that Hernández had in Game 3 of the 2018 AL Division Series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees were reversed due to video replay replays.


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