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



By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min 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?

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.


How many bases are there NOT including home plate?

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.


What's a pitch that a batter swings at but doesn't hit called?

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.


Where does a batter stand to bat?

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.


Which defensive player is behind home plate?

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.


How many points is a score worth?

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.


What's a pitch outside of the strike zone called?

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.


How many players are allowed on defense?

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.


Where does a batter go if he's walked?

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.


How many balls until a batter walks?

Only four players have been walked more than 2,000 times in their career. Babe Ruth was the first to achieve this mark.


Where does a player have to reach to score?

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.


Where does a pitcher stand?

From 1966 until 1993, pitcher Nolan Ryan dominated the league from the mound. He finished his career as the all-time leader in strikeouts.


Where does an umpire stand to call balls and strikes?

There is one certainty in baseball. Both players and coaches are going to argue with umpires over balls and strikes.


What's it called when a batter makes it to second base?

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.


What is a ball hit out of the park called?

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.


How many foul balls can a batter hit?

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.


What's called if a ball is hit to the outside of first base?

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.


How many outs does a defense need to get off the field?

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.


Where does a ball have to be thrown for it to be a strike?

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.


How many innings are in a regular game?

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.


What happens if a runner is tagged with the ball while NOT on base?

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.


What happens after the 9th inning if the game is tied?

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.


Which base can a runner run past and NOT be called out?

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.


What do you call a player who bats for a defensive player?

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.


How far is it from home plate to first base?

Fenway Park is the oldest stadium in MLB. The stadium was built in 1912 and is the current home of the Boston Red Sox.


What base can a player steal?

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."


What was introduced to baseball in 2014?

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.


How many umpires are on the field during a regular season game?

At 65 years old, Joe West is the oldest umpire in MLB. He has called six World Series. His first was in 1992.


Where does a batter who's up next stand?

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.


How far is it from home plate to the pitcher's mound?

The fastest pitch ever recorded in an MLB game was 105.1 mph. It was thrown by Aroldis Chapman in 2010 against the Padres.


What's the head umpire called?

Bill McGowan, who umpired 4,424 games, founded the Bill McGowan School for Umpires. The school was later renamed the Wendelstedt Umpire School.


How wide is the pitcher's plate?

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.


What are the umpires near first and third base called?

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.


Which is NOT reviewable?

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.


What is the minimum distance between home plate and the center field fence?

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.


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