Think You Could Be an MLB Umpire? Take This Quiz!

By: Gavin Thagard

Think You Could Be an MLB Umpire? Take This Quiz!
Image: DavidMadison/DigitalVision/gettyimages

About This Quiz

It's a hot, summer day with popcorn and a cold drink. It's the sound of bats cracking and fans cheering. It's the great American pastime. It's baseball. When we think about baseball, there are so many components that go into making the game a great experience whether it's the snacks, the players, or the fans. One critical component that is often overlooked, however, is the role of the umpires who govern the game. 

Umpires are integral to the success of a baseball game as they are responsible for sorting out what is happening on the field. They make calls, settle disputes, and are ultimately supposed to be the voice of reason and fairness for the two teams competing against one another. However, umpires are rarely ever paid any mind, unless they make a bad call, of course. Then the entire stadium is booing them for the rest of the game. Still, an umpire's role is critical for a game to run properly. 

Do you think you have what it takes to be an MLB umpire? Could you make all the right calls in the most crucial moments of the game? If you believe you can, then take this quiz and prove it! 

How many strikes until a batter is out?
Two
Three
One of the worst records in baseball history is the most strikeouts by a batter in a career. However, that record is held by one of the greatest players in MLB history, Reggie Jackson.
Four
Five

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How many bases are there NOT including home plate?
Two
Three
Chipper Jones played third base for the Atlanta Braves throughout his entire career. Jones won the NL MVP in 1999 and was the MLB batting champion in 2008.
Four
Five

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What's a pitch that a batter swings at but doesn't hit called?
A strike
Over the course of Nolan Ryan's 27-year career, he struck out 5,714 batters. That's an MLB record that might not ever be broken.
A ball
A miss
An out

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Where does a batter stand to bat?
Batter's square
Batter's circle
Batter's box
Pete Rose was a ferocious switch-hitter who played professionally from 1963 until 1986. During that time, he set the MLB record for most hits in a career at 4,256.
On home plate

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Which defensive player is behind home plate?
The shortstop
The back baseman
The home baseman
The catcher
Carlton Fisk, who played catcher for the Red Sox and White Sox, was unanimously named the AL Rookie of the Year in 1972. He was the first player to receive​ every vote for the award.

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How many points is a score worth?
1
Points in baseball are known as runs. The most runs scored in a game by a single team in the modern era of baseball is an astounding 30. This was accomplished by the Rangers against the Orioles in 2007.
2
3
4

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What's a pitch outside of the strike zone called?
A ball
Despite his association with steroids, Barry Bonds was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game. He was also walked more than any other player in baseball history, as he was given a free pass 2,558 times.
A foul
Outsider
Off the plate

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How many players are allowed on defense?
Five
Seven
Eight
Nine
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award is given to the best fielder at each position in both the American League and the National League. No player has won the award more times than Greg Maddux, who was named a Golden Glove winner 18 times.

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Where does a batter go if he's walked?
First base
Lou Gehrig played first base for the New York Yankees from 1923 until 1939. He was forced to retire because of a debilitating disease that would eventually take his life.
Second base
Third base
Home plate

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How many balls until a batter walks?
Two
Three
Four
Only four players have been walked more than 2,000 times in their career. Babe Ruth was the first to achieve this mark.
Five

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Where does a player have to reach to score?
First base
Third base
Home plate
Rickey Henderson holds the record for runs scored in an MLB career. Henderson spent his career with several teams, but he's most known for his time with the Athletics where he was part of the World Series-winning team in 1989.
Fourth base

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Where does a pitcher stand?
First base
Pitcher's​ mound
From 1966 until 1993, pitcher Nolan Ryan dominated the league from the mound. He finished his career as the all-time leader in strikeouts.
Home plate
The box

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Where does an umpire stand to call balls and strikes?
In front of home plate
To the right of home plate
To the left of home plate
Behind​ home plate
There is one certainty in baseball. Both players and coaches are going to argue with umpires over balls and strikes.

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What's it called when a batter makes it to second base?
Two shot
A double
Throughout Jackie Robinson's MLB career with the Dodgers, he played second baseman for the team. His success with the Dodgers on the field culminated in a World Series in 1955, when the Dodgers defeated the Yankees in seven games.
A second
Run plus one

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What is a ball hit out of the park called?
A home run
Barry Bonds hold the MLB record for home runs in a career. He finished his career with 762 home runs, seven more than Hank Aaron.
A fly ball
A slam run
A full

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How many foul balls can a batter hit?
Three
Four
Five
Unlimited number
Alex Cora, who played for the Dodgers, had an 18 pitch at-bat in 2004 that included 14 straight foul balls. The final pitch resulted in a home run.

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What's called if a ball is hit to the outside of first base?
A ball
Out of bounds
A foul
In 2018, Brandon Belt of the Giants had an at-bat that included 21 pitches, a record for modern baseball when the stat was first recorded. The at-bat took 12 minutes to complete.
A fair

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How many outs does a defense need to get off the field?
Two
Three
In 1968, the Astros and the Mets had a game that was scoreless for 23 innings. The Astros finally won the game in the 24th inning with a grounder from Bob Aspromonte.
Four
Five

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Where does a ball have to be thrown for it to be a strike?
The end zone
The batter's arena
The strike zone over home plate
Pitching in Major League Baseball is a game of style. The best pitchers master their craft but are also good at a variety of pitches, from fastballs to changeups.
The strike box

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How many innings are in a regular game?
Six
Eight
Nine
The Yankees and Red Sox, two bitter rivals, played a nine-inning game in 2004 that lasted four hours and 45 minutes. That's the longest nine-inning game in baseball history.
10

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What happens if a runner is tagged with the ball while NOT on base?
He goes back a base
He goes back to first
He goes back to bat
He's out
Stolen bases have been on the decline in baseball over the years. This is largely due to the incredible arm strength that catchers now possess.

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What happens after the 9th inning if the game is tied?
More innings
Overtime
Extra innings
The longest game, by innings, in MLB history took place in 1920 between the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Robins. The game lasted 26 innings and ended in a tie when the game couldn't continue because of nightfall.
Additional innings

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Which base can a runner run past and NOT be called out?
First base
Joe DiMaggio, who played center fielder for the Yankees, had a 56-game hitting streak that has still not been broken. In the modern era, no player has come close to hitting that mark.
Second base
Third base
None

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What do you call a player who bats for a defensive player?
Lead hitter
Starting hitter
Top hitter
Designated hitter
David Ortiz, who retired in 2016, spent most of his career as a designated hitter. Ortiz hit 541 home runs and had 1,768 runs batted in.

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How far is it from home plate to first base?
50 feet
90 feet
Fenway Park is the oldest stadium in MLB. The stadium was built in 1912 and is the current home of the Boston Red Sox.
120 feet
150 feet

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What base can a player steal?
First base
Second base
Third base
An uncovered base
Billy Hamilton, who played baseball from 1888 until 1901, stole 912 bases. He was such a great base stealer, he received the nickname "Sliding Billy."

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What was introduced to baseball in 2014?
Counter runs
Extra-long home runs
Instant replay
Instant replay has been controversial because of the desire by MLB to speed up the game. Tactics such as a time frame on how long replays can last​ have been implemented to help in the process.
Automatic doubles

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How many umpires are on the field during a regular season game?
One
Four
At 65 years old, Joe West is the oldest umpire in MLB. He has called six World Series. His first was in 1992.
Five
Eight

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Where does a batter who's up next stand?
Batter's circle
On-deck square
On-deck circle
In 2017, Giancarlo Stanton was the home run leader with 59 home runs. He was followed by his new Yankees' teammate Aaron Judge who had 52 home runs.
Dugout

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How far is it from home plate to the pitcher's mound?
60 feet 6 inches
The fastest pitch ever recorded in an MLB game was 105.1 mph. It was thrown by Aroldis Chapman in 2010 against the Padres.
70 feet
80 feet 2 inches
90 feet

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What's the head umpire called?
Lead umpire
Umpire one
Crew head
Crew chief
Bill McGowan, who umpired 4,424 games, founded the Bill McGowan School for Umpires. The school was later renamed the Wendelstedt Umpire School.

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How wide is the pitcher's plate?
20 inches
24 inches
Tony Mullane was one of the first ambidextrous pitchers in baseball. However, he wasn't always the most accurate pitcher, throwing a record 343 wild pitches throughout his career.
35 inches
40 inches

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What are the umpires near first and third base called?
Base umpires
Bill Klem, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953, was an umpire in the early years of MLB. He officiated 18 World Series, the most all-time.
Side umpires
Back umpires
Line umpires

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Which is NOT reviewable?
Potential home run calls
Collisions at home plate
Fly balls in the infield
Ernie Banks played in the infield, mostly at shortstop, for the Chicago Cubs. In 1960, he was the first Golden Glove winner for the Cubs.
Fly balls in the outfield

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What is the minimum distance between home plate and the center field fence?
325 feet
350 feet
400 feet
Statcast started tracking the distance of home runs in 2015, though teams had less accurate methods of tracking home runs prior to Statcast. Since the introduction of the technology, the longest recorded home run was 504 feet, which was hit by Giancarlo Stanton in 2016.
450 feet

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You Got:
/35

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