Ángel Hernández Retires from MLB After Decades of Umpiring Controversy

Ángel Hernández retires from MLB

Ángel Hernández, a veteran umpire whose career in Major League Baseball spanned three decades and was marked by polarizing opinions, has announced his retirement. This decision follows recent negotiations between Hernández and MLB regarding a financial settlement, culminating in his departure from the league.

Confirming his retirement in a statement to USA TODAY Sports, Hernández reflected on his journey since his debut game in 1991, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to fulfill his childhood dream of umpiring in the majors. Citing a desire to prioritize family time, Hernández emphasized the camaraderie among colleagues and the friendships forged during his tenure.

Hernández’s final game as a home-plate umpire took place on May 9 during the Chicago White Sox’s victory over the Cleveland Guardians. Following this game, he was replaced on the crew by Jacob Metz, signaling the end of his officiating career.

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Throughout his time in baseball, Hernández faced controversies, including a racial discrimination lawsuit against MLB in 2017. Allegations of being overlooked for promotions and key assignments due to his race were central to the lawsuit, which was ultimately dismissed by the courts.

Despite challenges and criticisms, Hernández highlighted positive changes in baseball, particularly in promoting diversity. As a Cuban-American who started umpiring professionally at a young age, he acknowledged his role in advancing minority representation in the sport.

Hernández’s retirement marks the end of an era, characterized by both acclaim and criticism. While statistical analyses from MLB indicated mixed perceptions of his performance, public opinion often portrayed him as a lightning rod for missed calls and controversy. With his departure, Hernández steps away from the spotlight, leaving behind a legacy that evokes varied sentiments within the baseball community.

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