Better Know An Umpire: Gerry Davis

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

Name: Gerry Davis

Uniform number: 12 (crew chief)

Age: 59

Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 225 pounds

First year as MLB umpire: 1982

Total MLB games worked through 2011: 3,862 (home plate: 961)

Previous experience: Midwest League, Eastern League, American As­so­ci­a­tion, Florida Instructional League, Puerto Rico Winter League


Career ejections: 69

No-hitters called: None

Over/under record (1999-2011): 212-194

Hated in: Northeast Texas

Notable alleged blown calls: Mariners-Yankees, May 7, 2007; Yankees-Tigers, October 3, 2011 (Game 3, ALDS).


Claim to fame: In July 1998, a wild pitch ended up in Davis' shirt pocket, allowing a run to score.

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

More runs score when Davis is behind the plate than any other current ump. ... Davis' four-year performance establishes his strike zone as one of the smallest in the game. ... In his 29-year career, Davis has let a lot blow over. He has a 1.8 percent ejection rate, slightly below average. Since 2007, his ejection rate has plunged to 1.1 percent.

Scouting report from an angry blog commenter:

If it's a close division, everyone will be looking back at today and wanting to murder Gerry Davis.


Average K/9 (2011): 14.1

Average BB/9 (2011): 6.1

Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: April 16, 2012. On most days, Davis can be considered more of a hitters' ump, but he was all over the strike zone earlier this season.


True fact: Owns Gerry Davis Sports, a sporting goods company that specializes in officials' uniforms and outerwear. (The baseball umpire "starter kit" will run you $387.)


On umpiring: "I think the biggest key is using judgment at the right time. The phrase I use is, 'I want to catch the ball with my eyes.' I make sure I'm not leaving my eyes out in front of the plate, and that I see the catcher catch the ball. If I see him catch it, that gives me more of an opportunity to mentally decide what the pitch is."

Strike 3 call:


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