On Tuesday night, April 27, during a San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies MLB game, a terrifying accident occurred. The home plate umpire took a foul ball off of his helmet and was knocked unconscious.
The MLB umpire, Kerwin Danley, was hit in his face mask after Rockies outfielder, Sam Hilliard, fouled off a pitch. José Alvarez, of the Giants, threw a 91 miles per hour pitch that deflected up into Danley’s helmet.
Immediately, the MLB signal-caller looked stunned. He fell backward and appeared to be knocked out. Danley laid on the ground, not moving for a few moments. The players gathered around the umpire to see if he was okay.
Thankfully, the Giants announced after the game that the MLB umpire “is doing well.” But they added that he “has a slight headache.” Even though the scene looked gnarly, it appears that Danley will be alright. Hopefully, he is back behind home plate calling strikes and balls before too long.
Kerwin Danley, the MLB Umpire, Made History Last Year
The ump is 59-years-old and has worked as an umpire in the MLB since 1992. In February of 2020, he became the first African-American crew chief in the League.
“I think it’s a significant moment in the history of baseball. I’m very honored, very excited to be the first,” the MLB umpire said. “But it’s not just about me. It’s much more than that. It shows African American kids there is something else they can make it in, besides playing.”
Danley first started as an umpire in 1985 in the Northwest League. There, he worked his way up through the minor league baseball system. Now, the MLB umpire makes sure that his game is called as fairly as possible.
He continually works to grow the game of baseball. To do so, he runs an umpire camp in Compton, California. Coincidentally, this is also the home for MLB’s Urban Youth Academy.
“When kids see me out there, they know it can be done,” the strike caller said in the interview. “That’s the proof in the pudding. If you can’t see it or touch it, you don’t know it.”
Danley has established himself as one of the best umpires in baseball. Before the 2020 season, he had worked two World Series as well as 10 postseason rounds. He called his first game behind home plate in 1998, six years after he was hired.