World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Durwood Merrill

Article Id: WHEBN0004115105
Reproduction Date:

Title: Durwood Merrill  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Steve Palermo, Ken Kaiser, 1992 American League Championship Series, Rocky Roe, List of Detroit Tigers no-hitters
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Durwood Merrill

Durwood Merrill at Comiskey Park on May 21, 1980

Edwin Durwood Merrill (March 12, 1938 – January 11, 2003) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the American League for 23 seasons (1977-1999).

Born in Cloud Chief, Oklahoma, Merrill was known for being friendly and outgoing, as well as being a top-notch umpire. He was also a leader in charitable work in his hometown of Hooks, Texas. In 1998 he wrote a humorous collection of his experiences, called You're Out and You're Ugly, Too!.

Contents

  • Career 1
  • Memorabilia collection 2
  • Death 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Career

Merrill served as football coach and athletic director at Hooks High School until attending the Bill Kinnamon umpiring school in 1972. Among his classmates that year were future Major League umpires Ed Montague, Dallas Parks and Steve Palermo. He graduated third in his class and was immediately assigned to the Class-A California League for the 1972 season. He quickly worked his way through the minors, officiating in the Double-A Texas League in 1973 and the Triple-A American Association in 1974, 1975 and 1976, when he also was a fill-in in the American League.

Merrill umpired in the 1988 World Series, as well as American League Championship Series in 1981, 1983, 1987, 1992 and 1997. Merrill was behind the plate in Game 2 of the 1983 ALCS when Mike Boddicker tied an LCS record with 14 strikeouts, and Game 2 of the 1988 World Series, when Orel Hershiser of the Los Angeles Dodgers fired a three-hit, 6-0 shutout vs. the Oakland Athletics, led by "Bash Brothers" Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.

He also officiated in the 1984 and 1995 All-Star Games, calling balls and strikes in the second contest, and in the Division Series in 1996, 1998 and 1999. Merrill also called balls and strikes for Jack Morris' no-hitter on April 7, 1984,[1] and was the first base umpire for Nolan Ryan's sixth no-hitter on June 11, 1990.[2]

In Game 4 of the 1997 American League Championship Series, on a wild pitch with runners dashing around the bases, when Merrill gestured to where the ball was, Fox color commentator Tim McCarver sarcastically commented that "maybe he was trying to tell himself where the ball is!" Merrill heard about that, took offense to it, and fired back in his autobiography that he was letting the other umpires know that the situation was under control.

Merrill wore number 33 starting in 1980 when the AL adopted uniform numbers. He came into the AL in 1977, the year that the league made all new umpires on staff wear the inside chest protector, which had been standard in the NL for over 60 years. Umpires who were wearing the outside protector and on staff prior to 1977 were grandfathered. Merrill had one of the largest strike zones in baseball, and was easily recognizable when calling balls and strikes, as he crouched directly behind the catcher and often extended his arms far in front of him. Most home plate umpires work in the "slot", which is to the inside shoulder of the catcher (the left shoulder for a right-handed batter and the right shoulder for a left-handed batter).

Memorabilia collection

Merrill amassed a large memorabilia collection consisting of signed baseballs, game used jerseys and bats from the biggest names in the major leagues. He proudly displayed his impressive collection over the years for the benefit of his charitable efforts of various causes. The collection not only consisted of items he obtained, but he was also entrusted with many items from former umpire Shag Crawford. His charitable efforts for children of Hooks, Texas was remarkable.

Death

A heavy-set man, Merrill suffered a heart attack in early January 2003, and died a few days later in Texarkana, Texas at age 64.

See also

References

  1. ^ April 7, 1984 Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox Play by Play and Box Score Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 14 June 2012
  2. ^ Box Score of Nolan Ryan No-Hitter (Sixth) Baseball Almanac.com. Retrieved 14 June 2012

External links

  • Durwood Merrill, Jim Dent (1998). You're out and you're ugly, too!: confessions of an umpire with attitude. Macmillan. 
  • Texas Baseball Hall of Fame induction
  • : "His calling - professional baseball umpire Durwood Merrill"The Sporting News - 1996 article
  • World Umpires Association report on Durwood Merrill's death
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.