|21 – Hunter Wendelstedt|
Wendelstedt in 2011
June 22, 1971 |
|MLB debut||April 19, 1998|
|Career highlights and awards|
Harry Hunter Wendelstedt III (born June 22, 1971) is a baseball umpire who has worked in the National League in 1998–1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000. His father Harry Hunter Wendelstedt, Jr. was an NL umpire from 1966 to 1998. Hunter Wendelstedt goes by his middle name to avoid confusion with his father.
Hunter Wendelstedt had only worked in one postseason series prior to his appointment to the 2006 American League Championship Series between the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics, that being the 2003 National League Division Series.
As his career began just as his father was retiring, Hunter Wendelstedt wears the same number as his father did, 21. The Wendelstedts are the only father-son pair to have umpired a Major League game together, an event that occurred over several series in 1998.
Interaction with Ron Gardenhire
On October 7, 2010, Wendelstedt ejected Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire from Game 2 of the American League Division Series after Gardenhire argued a pitch which appeared to be strike three to Lance Berkman. Wendelstedt ruled it a ball, and on the next pitch Berkman hit a double scoring a run and putting the Yankees up, 3–2 (they would ultimately win, 5–2). It was at least the fourth time Wendelstedt has ejected Gardenhire. In 2005, Gardenhire was suspended one game and fined after delivering a profanity-laced rant about Wendelstedt, and in 2009, Wendelstedt suggested that Gardenhire should attend his umpiring school to "learn what a balk is," after ejecting Gardenhire for arguing a non-balk call. This contentious history fueled questions about the appropriateness of Major League Baseball putting Wendelstedt on a post-season series involving Gardenhire, as there is precedent in baseball for avoiding such confrontations, most notably the American League removing umpire Ron Luciano from games involving the Baltimore Orioles due to a long history of bad blood between the umpire and Orioles manager Earl Weaver.
On August 22, 2011, Wendelstedt ejected Twins third baseman Danny Valencia for disputing balls and strikes. Gardenhire came out to argue and his ejection followed. Afterward, Gardenhire said that he and Wendelstedt had actually gotten along well. Gardenhire stated that what had happened was his fault, not Wendelstedt's.
On July 31, 2011, Wendelstedt ejected Los Angeles Angels starter Jered Weaver and Angels manager Mike Scioscia, after Weaver gave up a home run to Detroit Tigers hitter Carlos Guillén and subsequently threw a pitch over the head of Tigers catcher Alex Avila.
On June 1, 2013, Wendelstedt ejected Baltimore Orioles starter Jason Hammel, after the latter had given up three straight home runs to the Detroit Tigers and subsequently hit center fielder Matt Tuiasosopo. Ejected on a first-pitch inside slider, it was Hammel's first career ejection.
Hunter attended Loyola University of New Orleans for two years, where he is a member of Alpha Delta Gamma Fraternity. He administers the Wendelstedt Umpire School in Florida and is involved with the YMCA Ormond Beach and YMCA Edgewater Charity Golf Tournaments.
- "UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire: Hunter Wendelstedt." Close Call Sports and the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. March 8, 2013.
- "The 2012 MLB Umpire Media Guide" (PDF). pbuconline.com. The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- "Danny Valencia, Ron Gardenhire ejected in Twins loss" MLB.com
- "MLB Ejection 051: Hunter Wendelstedt (2; Jason Hammel)." Close Call Sports and the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. June 1, 2013.