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Dale Scott’s career as a professional baseball umpire spanned nearly forty years, including thirty-three in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1985 to 2017. He worked exactly one thousand games behind the plate, calling balls and strikes at the pinnacle of his profession. He worked in every MLB stadium, interacting with hundreds of other top-flight umpires, colorful managers, and thousands of players, from future Hall of Famers to one-game wonders.
STORY TO TELL
Scott has enough stories about his on-field career to fill a dozen books—and he tells plenty of those stories here. He’s not interested in settling scores, but throughout the book, he provides an honest look at managers and players, some of whom weren’t always perfect gentlemen.
However, what makes Scott’s book truly different is his unique perspective as the only umpire in the history of professional baseball to come out as gay during his career. Granted, that was after decades of remaining in the closet, and Scott writes vividly and movingly about having to “play the game”—maintaining a facade of straightness while privately becoming his true self and building a lasting relationship with his future husband.
He navigated this obstacle course at a time when his MLB career was just taking off—and when the HIV/AIDS epidemic consumed North America.
Scott’s story isn’t only about leading a sort of double life, then opening himself up to the world and discovering a new generosity of spirit. It’s also a baseball tale, filled with insights and memorable anecdotes that come so naturally for someone who spent decades working the biggest games alongside the world’s greatest baseball players, managers, and umpires.
Scott’s story is fascinating both for his umpiring career and being a pioneer for LGBTQ+ people within baseball and across sports.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Five-time MLB All-Star pitcher
and 1994 American League
Cy Young Award winner
Dale Scott was both consistent and approachable, perhaps the two most important qualities for an umpire. Dale’s personal story is inspirational, but his book also features vivid game stories from a truly great run at the top of his profession.
2018 Ford C. Frick Award winner
for excellence in
Dale’s personal story differs dramatically from those of his umpiring colleagues. And yet, what also shines through is what he and so many of us have in common: an abiding love of baseball and an appreciation for what the game has meant to our lives. This is a textured story, both entertaining and meaningful. And told with uncommon grace.
Two-time MLB All-Star infielder
and 1991 Roberto Clemente
As the late, great Ernie Harwell once said to me about Dale, ‘A great umpire is like a great driver in traffic: you never notice they’re there.’ That was Dale Scott. He had a great, consistent strike zone, and I don’t recall him ever missing a call on the bases. But as good an umpire as Dale was, he’s also one of my all-time favorite people.
MLB play-by-play announcer
for ESPN and Sportsnet
Dale Scott umpired for more than thirty years in the big leagues. He’s seen it all, and most of the best parts seem to have wound up in these pages. But heck, I’d buy the book just for the chapter on the José Bautista Bat Flip Game!
25-year MLB and three-time
World Series umpire
For more than ten years, Dale Scott made me laugh every day. As a mentor, he taught me how to not only survive but excel in the major leagues, and I am forever grateful for his friendship and leadership. This memoir delivers the humor, excitement, and knowledge that only a true insider can provide. Make the right call and read this book!