MLB NAMES FOUR NEW UMPIRES TO THE FULL-TIME STAFF

MLB appoints Hamari, Hoberg, Morales and Torres to full-time staff; Venezuela’s Torres becomes first product of MLB Umpire Camps to reach Majors; longtime umpires Davidson, John Hirschbeck, Joyce and Tim Welke retire

Major League Baseball announced today that four umpires – Adam Hamari, Pat Hoberg, Gabe Morales and Carlos Torres – have been named to the full-time Major League Umpiring staff.

Four longtime Major League Umpires – Bob Davidson, John Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce and Tim Welke – have retired. Davidson, 64, was a 28-year Major League Umpire who began in the National League in 1983 and served as the second base umpire at the 2014 All-Star Game in Minnesota. Hirschbeck, who worked more than 33 years in the Majors, was on the field for five World Series (1995, 2006, 2010, 2013, 2016), including three as the crew chief. Joyce, 61, was assigned to the Fall Classic three times (1999, 2001, 2013). Welke, a 33-year veteran in the Majors who missed the 2016 season due to injury, called four World Series (1996, 2000, 2003, 2008), including as crew chief for the 2008 Fall Classic. Hirschbeck, 62, and Welke, 59, are part of the only two brother tandems in history who both served as Major League Umpires. Mark Hirschbeck was a Major League Umpire from 1988-2003, and Bill Welke is an active umpire with more than 17 years of experience.

Hamari, 33, has been an umpire in the Minor Leagues since 2006. He was first assigned to Major League Spring Training in 2012, and he has 485 Major League regular season games to his credit as a call-up umpire. He has worked in the Appalachian League, the New York-Penn League, the Midwest League, the California League, the Florida State League, the Southern League, the Eastern League, the International League and the Pacific Coast League.

Hoberg, 30, has been a professional umpire since 2009. His first Major League Spring Training was in 2014, and he has been on the field for 371 Major League games. He has worked in the Arizona League, the Florida Instructional League, the Appalachian League, the Midwest League, the California League, the Midwest League, the Florida State League, the Texas League, the Arizona Instructional League, the Pacific Coast League and the Arizona Fall League.

Morales, 32, has been a professional umpire since 2009. He was first assigned to Major League Spring Training in 2014, and he has officiated 420 Major League games. He has worked in the Arizona League, the New York-Penn League, the Florida Instructional League, the South Atlantic League, the Florida State League, the California League, the Texas League, the Arizona Instructional League, the Venezuela Summer League, the International League, the Pacific Coast League and the Arizona Fall League.

Torres, 38, has been a professional umpire since 2009. His first Major League Spring Training was in 2015, and he has been a part of 179 regular season games as a call-up umpire. He has worked in the Gulf Coast League, extended Spring Training, the New York-Penn League, the South Atlantic League, the Carolina League, the Southern League, the International League and the Arizona Fall League. The native of Venezuela is now the first product of MLB’s Umpire Camps, an initiative that began in 2006, to become a Major League Umpire. Torres attended a week-long MLB Umpire Camp, which has provided umpire training and opportunities for attendees to earn scholarships to professional umpiring schools, in 2008. After attending the Umpire Camp, he graduated from umpire school and began a Minor League umpiring career.

Both Hamari and Morales have served as instructors at past MLB Umpire Camps in Compton, California.

With the retirements of Hirschbeck, Joyce and Welke, crew chief vacancies have been filled by longtime Major League Umpires Paul Emmel (17.5 Major League seasons), Mike Everitt (18 years) and Sam Holbrook (16.5 years).

Jason Maguire

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