Mark Johnson (umpire)
|Born||Mark Stephen Johnson
November 18, 1950
|Died||October 26, 2016
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
Mark Stephen Johnson (November 18, 1950 – October 26, 2016) was a professional baseball umpire who worked in the American League from 1979 to 1999, wearing uniform number 25 when the AL adopted them in 1980. Johnson was an umpire in the 1993 World Series and the 1990 and 1999 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In his career, he umpired 1,979 Major League games.
Johnson left a 1982 Oakland-Toronto game with a broken hand. A pitch from Matt Keough hit Willie Upshaw and the ball then struck Johnson, who was working home plate. Third base umpire Rich Garcia replaced Johnson behind the plate.
He left a 1985 Yankees-Indians game by stretcher after being struck on the left side of the groin by a fastball from Brian Fisher. Although the ball glanced off of the catcher's mitt, it still hit Johnson with enough force to injure him.
In 1994, Johnson and his crew received a police escort following a spring training game. In that game, Johnson had a heated confrontation with Gary DiSarcina. DiSarcina was ejected from the game, but he claims that Johnson instigated the dispute by insulting DiSarcina's hitting ability. Two players allege that Johnson told DiSarcina, "You're a .220 hitter and I'm going to (get) you all year." The ejection was DiSarcina's first as a professional baseball player.
Mark was one of 22 umpires who lost their jobs amid the 1999 Major League Umpires Association mass resignation. The resignations, which were intended as a bargaining strategy, backfired when Major League Baseball simply accepted them and hired replacements from the minor leagues.
- "MARK S. JOHNSON « Honolulu Hawaii Obituaries - Hawaii Newspaper Obituaries". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. November 10, 2016.
- "TSN Umpire Card". The Sporting News. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- "Sports People; Umpire a Casualty". New York Times. June 20, 1982. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- "Umpire Mark Johnson Hit in Groin". Associated Press. August 9, 1985. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- Nightengale, Bob (March 13, 1994). "DiSarcina, Umpire in Grudge Match?". LA Times. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- Gargano, Anthony (September 2, 1999). "The Umpires Strike Out; Dispute Ends as 22 Lose Their Jobs". Daily News. Retrieved June 24, 2012.