You don’t often hear about umpires missing any time due to injuries, but if there are umpires whose time away from the game would make headlines, Tim McClelland would be one. The 31-year veteran ump will miss the entire 2014 season due to a back injury, for which he couldn’t get doctors to clear him.
McClelland told his hometown newspaper that he isn’t retiring, but he will have to re-evaluate his condition after the season [via Eye on Baseball]:
“I’m not working this year,” said McClelland. “I’m not retiring, I’m just on the disabled list. I’m going to rest, and we have to re-evaluate at the end of the year. …
“It’s been a real struggle for me to umpire the last couple of years,” he said. “I didn’t want to go through what I’ve gone through the last couple of years.”
McClelland is 61 years old and has umped the third most number of years and postseason games amongst the active roster of umpires. He was the plate umpire for the George Brett pine tar game in 1983 and for the Sammy Sosa corked bat game 20 years later, and he has called one no-hitter (David Wells, 1998). During the 2009 postseason, McClelland received a lot of attention for missing multiple calls, including this easy one.
We at TOC wish the big blue — he’s 6-foot-6! — well.