Samuel Woodford Holbrook
- Height 6' 1", Weight 230 lb.
- School Eastern Kentucky University
Holbrook began his career in the 1990 Appalachian League and moved up to the Midwest League in 1991, Carolina League in 1992-1993, Texas League in 1993, Eastern League in 1994-1995 and International League in 1995-1997. After working four American League game as a substitute umpire in 1996, he performed a similar role for 18 games in the National League in 1997. In 1998, he became a full-time NL umpire, but in 1999, he handed in his resignation as part of a failed negotiation strategy by the umpires' union. As a result, he was out of the majors until late in the 2002 season, when he was reinstated as part of a settlement between the new World Umpires Association and Major League Baseball. When he returned, because of his relative lack of experience at the time he had resigned, he was not offered back pay and benefits for the time missed, contrary to some colleagues who had more accumulated time.
He worked the 2004 All-Star Game and the 2010 and 2016 World Series. In the 2012 National League Wild Card Game, he made a controversial infield fly rule call on a fly by Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves that went into the outfield and wound up dropping between two fielders; fans pelted the field with debris in protest but the call was upheld. He did not work at all in 2014 as he was on bereavement leave following his wife Susie's death from cancer in February. He was back in the job in 2015.
Primary Source: 2010 MLB Umpire Media Guide