It's a hot, summer day with popcorn and a cold drink. It's the sound of bats cracking and fans cheering. It's the great American pastime. It's baseball. When we think about baseball, there are so many components that go into making the game a great experience whether it's the snacks, the players, or the fans. One critical component that is often overlooked, however, is the role of the umpires who govern the game.
Umpires are integral to the success of a baseball game as they are responsible for sorting out what is happening on the field. They make calls, settle disputes, and are ultimately supposed to be the voice of reason and fairness for the two teams competing against one another. However, umpires are rarely ever paid any mind, unless they make a bad call, of course. Then the entire stadium is booing them for the rest of the game. Still, an umpire's role is critical for a game to run properly.
Do you think you have what it takes to be an MLB umpire? Could you make all the right calls in the most crucial moments of the game? If you believe you can, then take this quiz and prove it!
From 1966 until 1993, pitcher Nolan Ryan dominated the league from the mound. He finished his career as the all-time leader in strikeouts.
Rickey Henderson holds the record for runs scored in an MLB career. Henderson spent his career with several teams, but he's most known for his time with the Athletics where he was part of the World Series-winning team in 1989.
Points in baseball are known as runs. The most runs scored in a game by a single team in the modern era of baseball is an astounding 30. This was accomplished by the Rangers against the Orioles in 2007.
Carlton Fisk, who played catcher for the Red Sox and White Sox, was unanimously named the AL Rookie of the Year in 1972. He was the first player to receive every vote for the award.
Pete Rose was a ferocious switch-hitter who played professionally from 1963 until 1986. During that time, he set the MLB record for most hits in a career at 4,256.
Chipper Jones played third base for the Atlanta Braves throughout his entire career. Jones won the NL MVP in 1999 and was the MLB batting champion in 2008.
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award is given to the best fielder at each position in both the American League and the National League. No player has won the award more times than Greg Maddux, who was named a Golden Glove winner 18 times.
Over the course of Nolan Ryan's 27-year career, he struck out 5,714 batters. That's an MLB record that might not ever be broken.
One of the worst records in baseball history is the most strikeouts by a batter in a career. However, that record is held by one of the greatest players in MLB history, Reggie Jackson.
Pitching in Major League Baseball is a game of style. The best pitchers master their craft but are also good at a variety of pitches, from fastballs to changeups.
Despite his association with steroids, Barry Bonds was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game. He was also walked more than any other player in baseball history, as he was given a free pass 2,558 times.
Only four players have been walked more than 2,000 times in their career. Babe Ruth was the first to achieve this mark.
Lou Gehrig played first base for the New York Yankees from 1923 until 1939. He was forced to retire because of a debilitating disease that would eventually take his life.
There is one certainty in baseball. Both players and coaches are going to argue with umpires over balls and strikes.
Throughout Jackie Robinson's MLB career with the Dodgers, he played second baseman for the team. His success with the Dodgers on the field culminated in a World Series in 1955, when the Dodgers defeated the Yankees in seven games.
In 2018, Brandon Belt of the Giants had an at-bat that included 21 pitches, a record for modern baseball when the stat was first recorded. The at-bat took 12 minutes to complete.
Alex Cora, who played for the Dodgers, had an 18 pitch at-bat in 2004 that included 14 straight foul balls. The final pitch resulted in a home run.
Barry Bonds hold the MLB record for home runs in a career. He finished his career with 762 home runs, seven more than Hank Aaron.
In 1968, the Astros and the Mets had a game that was scoreless for 23 innings. The Astros finally won the game in the 24th inning with a grounder from Bob Aspromonte.
The Yankees and Red Sox, two bitter rivals, played a nine-inning game in 2004 that lasted four hours and 45 minutes. That's the longest nine-inning game in baseball history.
The longest game, by innings, in MLB history took place in 1920 between the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Robins. The game lasted 26 innings and ended in a tie when the game couldn't continue because of nightfall.
Joe DiMaggio, who played center fielder for the Yankees, had a 56-game hitting streak that has still not been broken. In the modern era, no player has come close to hitting that mark.
Stolen bases have been on the decline in baseball over the years. This is largely due to the incredible arm strength that catchers now possess.
David Ortiz, who retired in 2016, spent most of his career as a designated hitter. Ortiz hit 541 home runs and had 1,768 runs batted in.
Billy Hamilton, who played baseball from 1888 until 1901, stole 912 bases. He was such a great base stealer, he received the nickname "Sliding Billy."
Fenway Park is the oldest stadium in MLB. The stadium was built in 1912 and is the current home of the Boston Red Sox.
The fastest pitch ever recorded in an MLB game was 105.1 mph. It was thrown by Aroldis Chapman in 2010 against the Padres.
In 2017, Giancarlo Stanton was the home run leader with 59 home runs. He was followed by his new Yankees' teammate Aaron Judge who had 52 home runs.
At 65 years old, Joe West is the oldest umpire in MLB. He has called six World Series. His first was in 1992.
Bill Klem, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953, was an umpire in the early years of MLB. He officiated 18 World Series, the most all-time.
Instant replay has been controversial because of the desire by MLB to speed up the game. Tactics such as a time frame on how long replays can last have been implemented to help in the process.
Bill McGowan, who umpired 4,424 games, founded the Bill McGowan School for Umpires. The school was later renamed the Wendelstedt Umpire School.
Ernie Banks played in the infield, mostly at shortstop, for the Chicago Cubs. In 1960, he was the first Golden Glove winner for the Cubs.
Statcast started tracking the distance of home runs in 2015, though teams had less accurate methods of tracking home runs prior to Statcast. Since the introduction of the technology, the longest recorded home run was 504 feet, which was hit by Giancarlo Stanton in 2016.
Tony Mullane was one of the first ambidextrous pitchers in baseball. However, he wasn't always the most accurate pitcher, throwing a record 343 wild pitches throughout his career.