Gerry Davis (umpire)
Gerald Sidney Davis
- Height 6' 2", Weight 225 lbs.
Davis was the crew chief for the 2012 World Series and got the home plate assignment for Game 1. That season, he had previously been the home plate umpire for the 2012 All-Star Game and the crew chief for one of the National League Division Series, a demonstration of the respect in which he is held by fellow umpires. It was his fifth World Series assignment, in addition to 11 Division Series and 9 League Championship Series. He had previously worked the 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2009 World Series, the latter as the crew chief. He has umpired more postseason games than anyone in history. He umpired his 4,000th game on April 10, 2013, becoming the 21st man to reach that mark. In 2017, he was named the crew chief for the 2017 World Series; it was his sixth World Series assignment, tying him with Joe West for most among active umpires.
On the international scene, Davis was an umpire for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Heading into the 2020 season, he was only 43 games short of reaching the number of 5,000 for his career. His plan was to work these games, then hold a big retirement party. However, the coronavirus pandemic altered these plans, and he decided to skip the season, mindful of his age and other health conditions (he had high blood pressure and hypertension), putting him in a high-risk group if he ever got infected. He was still planning to return the following year, but added that if conditions were not conducive, he would simply retire, noting that 5,000 was just a number and not worth putting his health or that of his family in danger. He did return for one final season in 2021, working 43 games to bring his career total to 4,849, after which he retired for good. His 151 career postseason games are a major league record, ahead of West, who also retired following that season.
In addition to selling his own line of protective equipment, Gerry also developed a system called the "Gerry Davis System" of plate mechanics that rely on the support of the upper body by the hands to lock the head in a fixed position to call pitches.
"You're not a very good hitter if an umpire can get you out" - Gerry Davis commenting on players who blame their striking out on the umpire's decision on a previous pitch.
- Bob Nightengale: "MLB umpires Joe West, Gerry Davis take opposing stances on COVID-shortened 2020 season", USA Today, July 8, 2020.