MLB Appoints Kerwin Danley as First African American Crew Chief

Danley was promoted to the position this week by MLB

MLB Appoints Kerwin Danley as First African American Crew Chief
Umpire Kerwin Danley makes a call at Yankee Stadium in 2019. (Steven Ryan/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / February 27, 2020 11:11 am

For the first time in history, Major League Baseball will have an African American umpire working as a crew chief when the 2020 season starts.

Though the official announcement has not been made yet, MLB promoted umpire Kerwin Danley to crew chief this week, a person familiar with the move told The Associated Press.

Danley has worked two World Series and been on the field for 10 other postseason rounds. The 58-year-old has also been chosen to call two All-Star Games.

He’s known for having “an even temperament” which is “always an attractive quality when MLB picks its crew chiefs,” the AP reports. Not a hot head by any means, Danley has totaled just four ejections in the past five seasons, according to retrosheet.org.

A first-team All-American outfielder for San Diego State in 1983 when he batted .399, Danley called his first game in the majors in 1992 as a fill-in and was hired to the MLB staff in 1998. He was the first base umpire when his former teammate Tony Gwynn got his 3,000th hit in 1999.

There have been about 10 full-time African American umpires in the majors since Emmett Ashford became the first in 1966.

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