Better Know An Umpire: Brian O'Nora

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Welcome to Better Know An Umpire, an effort to educate ourselves on the human elements who have ultimate decision-making power over some 2,500 Major League Baseball games a year.

Name: Brian O'Nora

Uniform number: 7

Age: 49

Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 210 pounds

First year as MLB umpire: 1992

Total MLB games worked through 2011: 2,181 (home plate: 555)

Previous experience: Appalachian League, Midwest League, Eastern League, Pacific Coast League, American Association, International League, Florida Instructional League, Puerto Rican Winter League


Career ejections: 28

No-hitters called: Zero

Over/under record (1999-2011): 198-191

Hated in: Minnesota, Boston

Notable alleged blown calls: Expos-Twins, June 16, 2004; Indians-Nationals, June 13, 2010


Claim to fame: Getting his skull sliced open by a bat shard during a 2008 game in Kansas City.

Scouting report from Major League Umpires' Performance, 2007-2010, by Andy Goldblatt:

O'Nora has remarkably consistent plate judgment. ... O'Nora's strikeout rate has been rising at a faster pace than the major league average, but has never been above average, suggesting he might have an aversion to calling third strikes.

Scouting report from an Internet message board:

In other news, Brian O'Nora is a fucking asshole.

Average K/9 (2010): 14.09

Average BB/9 (2010): 5.26

Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: August 14, 2011. All those green triangles and squares inside the strike zone? Hitters really like those.


True fact: Became the third home plate umpire in one game on August 26, 2009. The first home plate ump, Jerry Crawford was hit by a foul ball and started getting spasms in his back. The next one, Tom Hallion, took a fastball to the chest and subsequently moved to third base.


Strike 3 call:


To check out other installments of Better Know An Umpire, click here.