Major League Baseball Appoints First Black Umpire Crew Chief

against the at Nationals Park on April 14, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Major League Baseball Appoints First Black Umpire Crew Chief

Kerwin Danley is a living, breathing example of Black history.

Published February 28, 2020

Written by Paul Meara

Baseball season is barely upon us, but Major League Baseball is starting the 2020 season off on a positive note. The MLB announced on Thursday (February 27,) that it has appointed Kerwin Danley as the first African American umpire crew chief.

Danley has already been employed by the league for years. He called his first big league game in 1992 and began full-time in 1998. He’s also worked in two World Series, two All-Star Games and 10 postseason series.

According to, Danley totaled just four ejections in the past five seasons and is known for displaying an even temperament.

“The MLBPA extends its congratulations to Kerwin Danley on becoming MLB’s first African-American crew chief and Alfonso Márquez on becoming the game’s second Hispanic crew chief," MLBPA executive director Tony Clark Both said in a statement. "Both umpires are respected for their fairness, integrity and hard work, and are well- deserving of these historic honors.”

There have been 10 full-time African American umpires in the MLB since Emmett Ashford broke the color barrier for umps in 1966. 

Danley began his umpiring career in 1985, calling games in the minors’ Northwest League. During his college career at San Diego State, he was roommates with future Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn.

Congratulations, Kerwin Danley for being a living example of Black history in the making. 

Photo by: G Fiume/Getty Images


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