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MLB umpire Ángel Hernández, a target of scorn by fans and players, retires

Longtime umpire Ángel Hernández, who unsuccessfully sued Major League Baseball for racial discrimination, is retiring immediately.

During a career that spanned more than three decades, Hernández, 62, was often scorned by players, managers and fans for his missed calls and quick ejections — some in high-profile situations.

Hernández released a statement Monday evening via MLB saying he had decided he wanted to spend more time with his family.

“Since my first major championship match in 1991, I have had the very good experience of realizing my childhood dream: to umpire in the major leagues. There is nothing better than doing a job you love. I cherished the camaraderie of my colleagues and the friendships I made along the way, including our locker room attendants in every city,” Hernández said.

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“Needless to say, there have been many positive changes in baseball since I entered the profession. This includes the expansion and promotion of minorities. I am proud to have been able to actively participate in this goal while being an umpire in a major league.

Last summer, Hernández lost a second time in his racial discrimination lawsuit against MLB when a federal appeals court refused to reinstate his case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld a 2021 district court ruling that granted MLB summary judgment.

Hernández filed a lawsuit in 2017. He alleged he was discriminated against because he had not been assigned to the World Series since 2005 and was not named crew chief. He served as interim team leader from 2011 to 2016.

“Hernández failed to establish a statistically significant disparity between the promotion rates of white and minority arbitrators,” the 2nd Circuit said in an 11-page decision. “MLB provided compelling expert evidence demonstrating that in the years in question, the difference in crew chief promotion rates between white and minority umpires was not statistically significant. Hernández does not explain why MLB’s statistical evidence is unreliable.

Hernández was sidelined with a back injury last season until July 31. This year, he has been behind the plate eight times, including in his last game on May 9 between the Cleveland Guardians and the Chicago White Sox.

Born in Cuba, Hernández was hired as a major league umpire in 1993. He has appeared in two World Series (2002, 2005), three All-Star Games (1999, 2009, 2017) and eight League Championship Series, with his final LCS mission coming up. in 2016.

During Game 3 of the 2018 AL Division Series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, Hernández saw three calls for first base overturned during video replay reviews.

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