The Right Call

Angel Hernandez became Latin American umpiring trailblazer for MLB

September 26, 2012

By Lindsey Hale

Born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Florida, Angel Hernandez grew up watching his dad umpire baseball games. In 1993, Hernandez followed in his father’s footsteps and beyond, becoming one of the first Hispanic Major League Baseball umpires.

Hernandez has dealt with obstacles all umpires must endure – and then some. In 2001, a fan who was unhappy with Hernandez’s call threw a golf ball at his head. Putting that incident into perspective, Hernandez said, “You don’t know what would have happened. You don’t think about it when you make the call. You want to get in perfect position and see it the way the whole world sees it.”

Hernandez umpired for 12 seasons in the minor leagues before joining the major league staff in 1993. Hernandez has umpired two All-Star Games (1999, 2009), six division series (1996-97, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2011), six League Championship Series (2000-01, 2003-04, 2007, 2010) and two World Series (2002, 2005).

Hernandez is also active off the diamond. As a supporter of The Miracle League – which sponsors games for children with physical and mental challenges – Hernandez hosts the annual Miracle League Golf Tournament in Palm Beach, Fla.

 Check out bios of other Latin Legends here

Lindsey Hale was a 2012 education-public programs intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development. 

For information on how to apply for the Class of 2013 Steele Internship Program, click here