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Frank Pulli

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Frank Victor Pulli

  • Height 5' 11", Weight 185 lbs.

[edit] Biographical Information

Frank Pulli was an umpire in the Midwest League (1968), Eastern League (1969), and International League (1970-1971). He was then a National League umpire from 1972 to 1999. He umpired in two All-Star Games and four World Series.

In Game 5 of the 1978 World Series, he made a controversial ruling that the New York Yankees' Reggie Jackson had not committed interference, when he deflected a throw while running from first to second base, breaking a potential double play. Tommy Lasorda, the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, argued vehemently otherwise, but with no success.

In a 1999 game between the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, Pulli decided to utilize instant replay to decide whether a ball hit by the Marlins' Cliff Floyd had cleared the fence. There was no provision in the rules for this at the time, and he looked at a television monitor in the dugout to make his decision. He was reprimanded by Major League Baseball for his decision, as instant replay would only be formally introduced until 2008.

Pulli was one of the umpires who handed his resignation as part of a failed negotiating ploy later in the 1999 season. Contrary to most of the resigning umpires who eventually returned to the majors, Pulli decided to formally retire when the dust settled. He developed Parkinson's disease in later life and passed away in 2013, at age 78.

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