Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Better Know An Umpire: Gary Cederstrom

Illustration for article titled Better Know An Umpire: Gary Cederstrom

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. (All cumulative statistics are through the 2011 season, unless otherwise stated.)


Name: Gary Cederstrom

Uniform number: 38 (crew chief)

Age: 56

Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 250 pounds

First year as MLB umpire: 1989

Total MLB games worked through 2011: 2,656 (home plate: 667)

Previous experience: Midwest League, Eastern League, American Association, Triple-A Alliance

Career ejections: 35

No-hitters called: None

Over/under record (1999-2011): 204-186

Hated in: Detroit

Notable alleged blown calls: Braves-Tigers, June 26, 2010; Dodgers-Rockies, August 29, 2010.

Claim to fame: Was the third base at the Oakland Coliseum on May 1, 1991, the day Rickey Henderson successfully stole third, broke Lou Brock's career stolen base record, and gave us one of the most memorable on-field speeches in baseball history.

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

In 2007, Cederstrom came closest of all umpires to the major league average R/9. Since then he has followed the trend toward fewer runs, his R/9 hanging in the high eights. ... When the numbers from [2007-2010] are aggregated, Cederstrom comes out strongly pro-pitcher. ... His career ejection rate is just 1.4 percent, considerably below average.


Scouting report from an angry blog commenter:

Nice call ump
what a sack of shit

Average K/9 (2011): 14.6

Average BB/9 (2011): 6.6

Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: June 26, 2010. Johnny Damon struck out looking on a pitch that appeared to way out of the strike zone. After the game, Cederstrom watched the video and admitted that his call "didn't look very good."

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True fact: Lost track of the count during a game last September and had to phone a friend to figure out what it was.


On umpiring: "It'd be nice to retire and still be able to go fishing and play golf and go hunting. I don't want to work until I'm 70, but I'll probably work till I'm 57."

Strike 3 call:


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