Former ump Harry Wendelstedt dead of a brain tumor at 73 | Bob's Blitz

Former ump Harry Wendelstedt dead of a brain tumor at 73

Former National League umpire Harry Wendelstedt was out at home Friday, dead at age 73. Yes, another professional baseball employee taken by a brain tumor (joining Tug McGraw, Ken Brett, Dan Quisenberry, Johnny Oates, Dick Howser, John Vukovich, Bobby Murcer and Gary Carter). Wendelstedt is probably best known for his "didn't make an attempt to move" call on Dick Dietz during Don Drysdale's record no-run streak:

Drysdale was trying for his fifth straight shutout -- and was heading toward setting a then-record of 582/3 scoreless innings -- when San Francisco loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth inning.

Drysdale, who died in 1993, threw a 2-2 pitch that struck Dick Dietz on the elbow, and the shutout streak seemed to be over. But Mr. Wendelstedt, the plate umpire, immediately ruled that Dietz, who died in 2005, didn't try to get out of the way. Mr. Wendelstedt called the pitch a ball and told Dietz to get back in the batter's box.

"I'd never seen that call before in the big leagues," Mr. Lasorda recalled. "Never had seen anyone make it."

After a heated argument, the game resumed. On a full-count pitch, Dietz flied out and Drysdale wound up pitching a shutout. Orel Hershiser set the shutout record of 59 innings in 1988, pitching under Mr. Lasorda.

Harry's son Hunter is now an MLB ump.

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