Baseball is a sport of traditions. If you’re attending or watching a baseball game, you may hear the home plate umpire referred to as “blue.” Why are baseball umpires called blue?
Baseball umpires are referred to as “blue” due to the blue color of the uniform they wear at many competitive levels of the sport. because this is common in the sport, even referees not wearing the color blue will be referred to as “blue”.
Reading: Why are umpires called blue
Some umpires object to being called by this name and prefer to be called “umpire” or by their real names. At the professional level, most referees are known by name to the players. this leads to less use of terms like “blue” on a professional level by gamers.
Referees are not known by name by fans at any level of the sport, so hearing fans use the term “blue” is very common.
Let’s dig deeper into why baseball umpires are called blue and also examine what it takes to be a professional umpire.
why are baseball umpires called blue?
referees uniform color
From youth baseball to minor league baseball, umpires wear blue uniforms. The color of these uniforms is usually a light sky blue, but can also be more of a dark navy blue.
In major league baseball, umpire teams often wear black shirts with charcoal gray pants, although light blue shirts are occasionally worn. in cold climates, referee coats are usually black, but can also have blue highlights mixed in.
names of the referees
Another reason baseball umpires are often called “blues” is that they don’t have names on their jerseys. at the professional level, players and coaches know referees by name due to familiarity. youth baseball is not the same.
In youth and pee wee baseball, umpires are not full-time employees. referees travel from league to league and field to field and rarely develop a first-name relationship with coaches and players.
Even if they did, the fans don’t know the names of the referees. this means that when players, coaches, or fans argue with or question referees, they do so without knowing the name of the referee. this opens the door for the term “blue” to be used in reference to a referee.
Which referee does “blue” refer to?
When a player, coach, or fan yells “blue,” they are most often directing it at the plate umpire.
In baseball there are 2-4 umpires on the field at the same time. Major League Baseball games have umpires stationed at each of the four bases. There may be times when the term “blue” is directed at an umpire not working at the plate, but because the plate umpire gets the most action during a game, he also gets the most interaction from the players, coaches and fans. .
another nickname for baseball umpires
“Blue” is the most popular nickname for baseball umpires, but you’ll also hear them referred to simply as “umpire.” As we discussed earlier, the term “blue” can be somewhat offensive to serious baseball umpires, as it tends to be the common term used by heckling fans.
The term “blue” in baseball has a similar tone to the use of the term “zebra” when it comes to a basketball umpire. both are delivered with a hint of disrespect and can affect the mixed reactions of umpires and umpires.
Players and coaches who don’t know the umpire by name will likely choose to use the term “umpire” instead of “blue”.
other nicknames in baseball
In baseball, the head coach in the dugout is known as the manager. other position coaches are known as coaches. baseball managers are sometimes called “pattern” or “skip” for short. Unlike the term “blue” for umpires, “skip” is usually delivered as a respectful and affectionate name by which a player will call their own manager.
Nicknames for baseball players often depend on their playing position. Various generic nicknames can be applied to baseball players. the team’s best starting pitcher is sometimes referred to as the “ace”. the best hitter on a team can sometimes be referred to as the “slugger”. veteran players are sometimes called “veterinarians”.
again, those are generic nicknames. most nicknames in professional baseball are derived from the player’s own personal characteristics and qualities and are not generic.
how to become a major league umpire
major league umpires are seasoned professionals who have spent many years perfecting and practicing their craft.
all major league umpires had to first attend a professional umpire training school. umpire school usually only lasts a month or two, but then the long journey begins.
Most major league umpires spend 7-10 years working in minor league baseball before being considered for a major league umpiring position. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for umpires to reach the level of the major leagues. there are only 68 major league umpires versus 225 in minor leagues.
This difficult journey for umpires helps protect the integrity of the game of baseball and ensures that only the best and most qualified umpires make it through the ranks of the major leagues.
Is it difficult to umpire baseball?
Although it may seem easy from the stands or from a television, baseball umpiring can be incredibly difficult and challenging unless you have the right disposition for the job.
Referees are subject to heckling and arguing from players, coaches and fans. The game of baseball has progressed over the years to protect umpires and try to decrease the amount of arguing on the field during a baseball game.
In-game repetition of crucial calls has also helped reduce the number of disagreements between players and coaches versus referees. instant replay became part of major league baseball in 2008 and was expanded in 2014 to cover much of what it still covers today.
One protection the league provides to major league umpires is that umpires don’t have to meet with the media after games to explain crucial decisions. this is a hotly debated topic in professional baseball and many players and managers don’t appreciate that players and managers are expected to stand up in front of the media and explain themselves, but umpires are not.
many players and coaches feel that referees should be held accountable to the media for the decisions they make on the field. umpires have the luxury of never answering tough questions for mistakes made during a game. players and coaches are not so lucky.
the future of baseball umpiring
Each year, as technology advances, the future of human officiating in baseball (and most sports) becomes more difficult to predict.
Many players today feel that electronic strike zones should be implemented to bring consistency to the game of baseball. And with cameras capable of covering every corner of a baseball field in high definition, some wonder why umpires are needed on the field. some suggest only one or two umpires are needed on the field, while a team of umpires can review calls instantly from cameras that can provide multiple angles of slow-motion plays.
Despite the advancement of technology, many traditionalists hate the idea of losing human umpires in the game of baseball. the interaction between referees and players and coaches is something the game has known since its inception. some experts fear that removing the human personality from the game of baseball will make a slow sport even more difficult for some to pay attention to.
Human umpires will probably never be completely eliminated from baseball. and that’s probably a good thing for the sport.