MLB umpire turned to instant replay in '99
Frank Pulli, 78, a longtime umpire for Major League Baseball who used instant replay to make a call nearly a decade before video reviews were allowed, died Wednesday in Palm Harbor, Fla., of complications from Parkinson's disease, according to MLB.
FOR THE RECORD:
Frank Pulli: In the Sept. 2 LATExtra section, a brief obituary of Major League Baseball umpire Frank Pulli said that Pulli ruled on a play during a 1978 World Series game between the Dodgers and New York Yankees in which a ball thrown by second baseman Davey Lopes glanced off baserunner Reggie Jackson's leg. It was shortstop Bill Russell, not Lopes, who made the throw, and the ball hit Jackson's hip, not his leg. —
Early in the 1999 season, Cliff Floyd of the Florida Marlins hit a drive against St. Louis that was originally ruled a double. Fredi Gonzalez, the Marlins' interim manager, argued. Pulli, the crew chief, changed it to a home run.
That drew a beef from the Cardinals, so Pulli decided to check replays on a TV camera near the Marlins' dugout. The game in Miami was delayed for more than five minutes before Pulli overturned his own call and put Floyd back at second base.
At the time, the Marlins filed a protest that was denied by NL President Len Coleman. But Coleman also said Pulli was incorrect to use replay.
After the game, Pulli said it was the first time he had used a TV replay to make a call.
"I sure don't want to make a habit of it," he said then. "But at that moment, I thought it was the proper thing to do."
In 2008, MLB approved the use of replay on potential home runs.
Pulli was part of another noted play during Game 4 of the 1978 World Series between the Dodgers and New York Yankees. The Dodgers tried to turn an inning-ending double play in the sixth inning, but a relay throw by second baseman Davey Lopes glanced off Reggie Jackson's leg.
A run scored and Dodgers Manager Tom Lasorda argued that Jackson should have been out for interference. Pulli was officiating at first base and allowed the play to stand. The Yankees won in 10 innings and wrapped up the title in six games.
Pulli also was the first base umpire when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run and broke Babe Ruth's record.
A native of Easton, Pa., Pulli was among the 22 umpires who lost their jobs in a failed mass resignation in 1999. He was an umpire supervisor for MLB from 2000-07.
Writer-producer on popular '60s TV shows
William Froug, 91, a writer and producer who worked on some of the hallmark TV shows of the 1960s, died Aug. 25 at a hospice facility in Sarasota, Fla., of gastrointestinal bleeding, said his daughter, Lisa Froug-Hirano. Among the shows he produced were "Twilight Zone," "Gilligan's Island," "Bewitched" and "Adventures in Paradise."