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Frank Dezelan

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Frank John Dezelan

  • Height 6' 2", Weight 200 lb.

BR minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Frank Dezelan was an umpire.

Dezelan served in the Navy. During a visit to his dentist Richard Goldberg, the discussion turned to baseball, and Goldberg suggested Dezelan become an umpire. Frank decided to heed the advice.

He began his umpiring career in the Northern League in 1958-1959. He moved up to the South Atlantic League in 1960-1961 and the Pacific Coast League in 1962-1963. He then worked the Southern League in 1964-1965 and the International League in 1966-1968. He would be an umpire in the National League for the last weeks of the season in 1966-1968, then full time from 1969-1970. His career ended due to surgery for a brain tumor. He would undergo five more operations on his brain and would live for 40 more years.

While a rookie umpire in the Northern League, Dezelan once ejected the argumentative Earl Weaver before the game even began, when Weaver protested over tree limbs that were on the field. Dezelan later worked Willie Mays' 600th home run game, the 1970 All-Star Game and the Three Rivers Stadium opening game.

As per Dezelan's son, Frank's favorite players to work with included Bob Gibson (for his efficiency) and Roberto Clemente (for never arguing a call).

Sources include 3/11/11 obituary in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Robert Dvorchak

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