Longtime MLB umpire Dale Scott has decided to retire, citing a string of concussions in recent years and his fear that any more could lead to long-term health effects.
Scott, 58, hasn’t worked a game since taking a foul ball to the mask off the bat of Mark Trumbo in April. It was a scary scene, with Scott taken off the field on a stretcher and hospitalized overnight. He told the Associated Press that it was his fourth concussion in five years; it can be dangerous back there.
“In fact, it was pretty easy,” he said. “I wasn’t planning on this year being the last one. But I thought, this is a sign.”
Especially when he asked three doctors about the possible long-term effects if he got jarred again.
“They said, ’We just don’t know,’” Scott said. “But they told me that the more times you get hit, the more probability that you’ll have issues.”
He said that as a reminder, he keeps video of that Trumbo foul tip on his cell phone.
Scott, he of the compact uppercut punch-out, has been a major-league ump since 1985 and has worked 3,897 regular-season games, including Andy Hawkins’s “no-hit” loss in 1990, Scott Erickson’s 1994 no-hitter, a season-opening game in Australia, and in 1998 was the last-ever umpire to eject Billy Martin. Scott was a crew chief for the last 16 seasons, and worked three World Series and 91 total playoff games.
Scott very quietly came out as gay in 2014, when he submitted some off-the-field photos to Referee Magazine showing him and his husband; they’ve now been together for 31 years.