Here’s an excerpt:
In Frank’s second, and last, season in the Northern League he had a run-in with one of the great tantrum-throwers in MLB history – Earl Weaver . Weaver was managing the Aberdeen (SD) Pheasants at home against the Minot (SD) Mallards . According to Ken Kaiser and David Fisher in Planet of the Umps: a Baseball Life from Behind Home Plate, the drama began with a debate about a large tree and Aberdeen’s ground rules:
In right field a large tree hung over the scoreboard. Weaver and the…Mallards manager couldn’t agree on the tree rule. As home team manager, Weaver wanted anything hitting the tree to be a home run, the Mallards manager wanted it in play. [Dezelan]…decided “Okay, I’ll make the ground rule. The tree’s in play.”
Weaver probably leaped three feet off the ground. Okay, maybe six inches. But then he started screaming at Dezelan that he was supposed to make the ground rules, and no umpire had the right to tell him what the ground rules should be, and he wasn’t going to stand for it.
Dezelan waited until Weaver had finished screaming and asked, “Who’s your manager?”
Weaver hesitated. He was standing right there with his lineup cards. “What do you mean?” he asked. “I’m the manager.”
“No,” Dezelan told him, “no, no, no. You’re scratched. You’re gone. I mean who’s your new manager?”
Frank Dezelan was an umpire with confidence.
So enjoy a Friday long read, courtesy of Obitoftheday.com
(Image of Dezelan’s umpire card is courtesy of retrosheet.org)