Richard Joseph Panas
- Height 5' 10", Weight 175 lb.
- Born December 17, 1954 in Toronto, ON CAN
Rich Panas was a replacement umpire in the American League in 1978, when the regular umpires staged a one-day strike on August 25th, and again for 17 games at the start of the 1979 season during a more prolonged strike. All of the games he worked were played in his hometown of Toronto, ON. In his very first game, he arrived to the ballpark late (the umpires for the game had only been rounded up the previous night at 11:00 pm) and since there were only two fill-in umpires available, the two teams each provided a coach to work one of the bases while the two amateurs took over home plate and first base. Thus, Don Leppert of the Toronto Blue Jays worked second base and Jerry Zimmerman of the Minnesota Twins was at third base. When Panas finally made it to Exhibition Stadium, he was assigned to left field, making one of the very rare instances of a regular season game being played with an outfield umpire, something usually reserved for postseason games and the All-Star Game.
He was a player and umpire in the Intercounty Baseball League for many years. His son Connor Panas has played in the minor leagues.
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