Polarizing MLB Umpire Ángel Hernández Retiring After Over 30 Years Behind the Plate

"I have decided that I want to spend more time with my family," Hernández said of his retirement

<p>Jason O. Watson/Getty Images</p> Angel Hernandez

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Angel Hernandez

Veteran MLB umpire Ángel Hernández has officially announced his retirement following a career that was often filled with controversial incidents.

Hernández, 62, and the MLB were in negotiations over his financial settlement for retiring over the last two weeks and came to an agreement during the recent holiday weekend, according to USA TODAY.

Confirming his retirement after being a MLB umpire for over 30 years, Hernández released a statement to the outlet. “Starting with my first major league game in 1991, I have had the very good experience of living out my childhood dream of umpiring in the major leagues. I treasured the camaraderie of my colleagues and the friendships I have made along the way,” he said. “I have decided that I want to spend more time with my family.”

Related: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Announces Plans to Retire: ‘You Can Only Have So Much Fun in One Lifetime’ 

He continued, adding that, “There have been many positive changes in the game of baseball since I first entered the profession. This includes the expansion and promotion of minorities. I am proud that I was able to be an active participant in that goal while being a major league umpire.”

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<p>Jamie Squire/Getty Images</p> Angel Hernandez

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Angel Hernandez

Hernández, who began his professional MLB career in 1991, marked his last official game as an umpire on May 9, a matchup between the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Guardians.

Hernández was a polarizing figure in the world of professional baseball, between his long and storied history with fans due controversial calls, consistent backlash on social media from online critics and his racial discrimination lawsuit against the MLB in 2017.

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He was frequently a trending topic on X, formerly known as Twitter, due to his questionable calls at the plate that often left fans irate. Hernández's calls were overturned by video review at a comparatively high rate compared to other umpires, ESPN reports.

In Hernández's 2017 lawsuit, he alleged that he was consistently passed over to call playoff games due to racism. He has not umpired a World Series game since 2005, and his last playoff appearance came in 2016. However, the lawsuit was thrown out by a district court judge, and that decision was upheld by an appeals court in 2023, according to ESPN.

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