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Head Height of Plate Umpire...

Jeff TenbargePerson was signed in when posted
07:44 PM ET (US)
great stuff! please see the Rusty's comment #8...great video attached! I love talkin baseball with you guys
John R.
09:17 PM ET (US)
This is a very helpful session for this new guy. Thank you, guys. I'm taking notes and will keep studying the videos. See you guys soon.
Edited 11-30-2018 10:03 PM
Ed K
04:48 PM ET (US)
I have seen only one MLB umpire whose head height is "low". I agree with Mike that the eyes should be at the top of the zone. At least, that's what's taught at pro school. Also, when I was at a college camp, one reason for having the head level at a "higher level" is to see the outside corner. Soimetimes you have to move to look over the opposite shoulder of the catcher when trying to see the outside corner of the plate.
04:46 PM ET (US)
There is a drill, (see first of two MLB videos below) by holding a baseball in our hand, then move it around on the outside of the plate and see if the umpire can see it with their head at different heights. I was going to show everyone, but they began fixing the box and we had, had enough for the day, lets do it with everyone next time and they will see how it works. If too low the ball cannot be seen on the outside corner, they call that "looking through the catchers ear whole". Also, if the ball is still over the plate and can't be seen, then what happens when it gets to the catchers mitt which is further back yet? We all know that we are trained to look at the back of the catchers mitt after it has the ball in it, and then is when we make our decision on the pitch, which also promotes good timing to get them right, if not we are just guessing without getting a good look at the mitt. Umpires that are known for being the best ball and strike guys, are what coaches and players look for, not the "look at me guys". So getting us in the best consistent position gets us a better chance of being that guy they want on their fields, nothing better for an umpire to getting that feeling that the pitcher, catcher, and hitting, all trust you and can relax and just play the game, nobody going to get ---- today, lol.

Look at this MLB two-man training video, has my good buddy Eddie Hickok, he's still in the show and was one of my trainers. I also had the pleasure to work some three-man games with him at the Twins, great guy. Anyway, watch the part about head height during "working the plate", good stuff.

MLB School Promo, this is where I met Eddie and got brain washed, lol, check each umpires head heights.
Jeff TenbargePerson was signed in when posted
01:10 PM ET (US)

I tend to see lower head levels at the higher levels of baseball
  Messages 6-4 deleted by author between 11-30-2018 01:09 PM and 11-30-2018 01:04 PM
Jeff TenbargePerson was signed in when posted
12:30 PM ET (US)
Thank you Mike! I did try to make the adjustment you guys recommended...I have been in discussions with several umpires lately regarding this subject so I thought I would throw it on the QT for discussion. I also like to use the hitter as my guide to head height...some catchers are big and set up high...some are small and get low...just never made sense to me to use the catchers head as a guide...to me, setting my eye level at the top of the zone makes sense. I like to set up as low as I can without getting blocked out. I like to see the pitch on the same "plane" as my eye level. Setting up higher gives me the visual of looking down at the strike zone rather than looking through it. Setting up in the slot allows this to take place without getting blocked out by the catcher...unless the catcher sets up inside. When the catcher sets up inside, I position myself higher and tell myself to really slow down my timing to get a good look at the pitch because I have changed my vantage point.
Mike K
11:58 AM ET (US)
Jeff, know we commented last week about your head level. It was different from one side to the other. Thought it was much better later in the game.

I always used the top of the hitters strike zone as my guide. My eyes started there!!! That might change depending on the size of the hitter or the catcher but that was my starting point. Watch these ML umpires, you don’t see them squatting too low. Check their eye level as the pitcher prepares to throw the pitch. Think you’ll find many sit a little higher than most would think!!
Jeff TenbargePerson was signed in when posted
11:06 AM ET (US)
A common bit of umpire advice is to keep your chin at the level of the top of the catchers head...What are your thoughts? Have you noticed that many high level umpires are getting lower than this position? Some veteran umpires teach other umpires to get as low as they can go to see pitches as long as they don't get blocked out by the head of the catcher. Have you experimented with getting lower? Opinions vary...what is your opinion? PLEASE DEFEND YOUR POSITION ON WHERE YOU SET UP TO GET A GOOD LOOK AT PITCHES. Comment away please...

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