Umpire Ángel Hernández, after long and controversial run in Major League Baseball, set to retire

Ángel Hernández, by both fans and players alike, has long been considered one of the most hated umpires in Major League Baseball.
Ángel Hernández, by both fans and players alike, has long been considered one of the most hated umpires in Major League Baseball. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images) (Jamie Squire via Getty Images)

Longtime Major League Baseball umpire Ángel Hernández is calling it a career.

Hernández, who has long been one of the more controversial umpires, will retire from the big leagues this week, he confirmed on Monday night after multiple media reports. Hernández and MLB have reportedly been negotiating terms of his retirement over the past two weeks.

"Starting with my first Major League game in 1991, I have had the very good experience of living out my childhood dream of umpiring in the major leagues," Hernández said in a statement, via ESPN's Jeff Passan. "There is nothing better than working at a profession that you enjoy. I treasured the camaraderie of my colleagues and the friendships I have made along the way, including our locker room attendants in all the various cities.

"I have decided that I want to spend more time with my family. Needless to say, there have been many positive changes in the game of baseball since I first entered the profession. This includes the expansion and promotion of minorities. I am proud that I was able to be an active participant in that goal while being a Major League umpire."

Hernández last worked the Chicago White Sox’s 3-2 win over the Cleveland Guardians on May 9. The 62-year-old was replaced on his crew by umpire Jacob Metz.

Hernández was first hired as a full-time umpire in MLB in 1993. He quickly became one of the worst-liked umpires in the league, especially in recent years, over what many have viewed as blatant missed calls on the field.

Hernández was involved in a long legal battle against MLB after he filed a racial discrimination lawsuit in 2017. Hernández, who was born in Cuba, claimed he was passed over for a promotion to crew chief and not chosen to work the World Series due to his race. Hernández — who last worked a World Series game in 2005 and a League Championship Series in 2016 — lost that case in 2021 and lost an appeal last year.

While arguing the case, MLB cited several specific instances where it believes Hernández failed at his job and missed calls on the field in key moments.

Hernández missed all but 10 games last season while dealing with a back injury. In those 10 games, according to Umpire Auditor, he missed 161 calls.

One of those games he worked in September led to Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper being ejected. Harper launched his helmet into the stands behind the dugout after Hernández called Harper out on a checked swing from third base. Harper charged at Hernández all the way up the third-base line before he was eventually pulled back and walked off the field.

“Ángel in the middle of something again. It’s every year, same story, same thing,” Harper said after that game. “I’m probably going to get fined for being right, again.”

While Hernández hasn’t been on the field much recently, for better or for worse, his time in the league is now over.

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