Gary Darling in 2013
October 9, 1957 |
San Francisco, California
|Occupation||Former MLB umpire|
|Weight||215 lb (15 st 5 lb; 98 kg)|
Gary Richard Darling (born October 9, 1957) is a former umpire in Major League Baseball. After beginning his career in the National League from 1986 to 1999, he worked throughout both major leagues from 2002 until his retirement in 2014. He wore uniform number 37 (though he wore #35 during his NL tenure).
Darling attended Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, California. He umpired the 2003 and 2010 World Series, the National League Championship Series (1992, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2012), two All-Star Games (1993, 2003), and ten Division Series (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013).
On April 29, 2008, in the seventh inning of a game between the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies, Darling called a balk against Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum, bringing home the winning run from third base in the form of Chris Iannetta. Giants manager Bruce Bochy was ejected by Darling for protesting the call. On the play, catcher Bengie Molina had requested a time out. Instead of honoring Molina's request, Darling called a balk and directed Iannetta home. In a later press interview, Darling explained the confusion by saying that "Lincecum flinched," adding that "Bengie was giving him the signs. Then (Lincecum) started and stopped. Bengie tried to cover for him by calling the timeout." Iannetta's run proved to be the winning margin in the game, giving Lincecum his first loss of the season.
On August 12, 2009, in the ninth inning of a game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Darling ejected Giants manager Bruce Bochy in the second inning and bench coach Ron Wotus in the ninth inning for arguing calls he'd made at first base. In the ninth inning, Darling called Dodger shortshop Rafael Furcal safe on an infield ground ball. Wotus was ejected during a subsequent argument. Pitching at the time, Lincecum surrendered a deep fly ball to the next hitter, allowing tying run to score.
On August 16, 2009, in the ninth inning of a game between the Oakland A's and the Chicago White Sox, Darling ejected A's manager Bob Geren for arguing a safe: obstruction call. Darling ruled that baserunner Jayson Nix had been pushed off second base by shortstop Bobby Crosby while attempting a steal. The A's ultimately won the contest, 3–2.
On July 22, 2010, in the top of the seventh inning of a game between the Minnesota Twins and the Baltimore Orioles, Twins shortstop J. J. Hardy was caught in a rundown between first and second base. Fielder Ty Wigginton attempted to apply a tag as Hardy attempted to pass. Darling ruled the tag attempt a miss and Hardy safe. During the subsequent argument, Wigginton bumped Darling, prompting Wigginton's ejection from the contest and subsequent 2-game suspension. The Twins won, 5–0.
After beginning the 2014 season on umpiring's disabled list, the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League reported the rumor of Darling's retirement from baseball on July 2. Major League Baseball confirmed the report on July 4, concluding Darling's 28 years of service. He was replaced on the MLB staff by 28-year-old minor league call-up umpire Quinn Wolcott.
Darling spends much of his off season doing charity work for Umps Care MLB professional umpire's charity. Darling serves as the charity's president.
- "Lincecum, Giants Lose On Phantom Balk". Bleacher Report. 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- "Stop Arguing and Bring in the Closer". Walkoff Walk. 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- "Giants avoid three-game sweep by Dodgers". Yahoo Sports. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- "Ellis' homer gives A's walk-off victory". MLB.com. 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- "Three Orioles Ejected After Controversial Call By Umpire Gary Darling". Yardbarker Network. 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- Umpires for Wild Card Games, Division Series announced Darling, Kellogg Will Serve As Crew Chiefs for Wild Card Games; Davis, DeMuth, Gorman and West Assigned to Lead Division Series Crews. MLB.com. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Imber, Gil (2014-07-02). "Rumor: Quinn Wolcott Hired, Gary Darling Retires". Close Call Sports & Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "Quinn Wolcott Appointed to Umpiring Staff; 28-Year Umpire Gary Darling Retires". Major League Baseball. MLB Press Release. 2014-07-04. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "Umpire Gary Darling retires after 28 years". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 4, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- Newman, Mark (May 2, 2014). "Bidding underway in annual UMPS CARE auction". MLB.com. Retrieved July 5, 2014.