NEW YORK — Mike DiMuro, among three father-son duos to work home plate in a major league no-hitter, is retiring after two decades as an umpire.
He is being replaced on the big league staff by Chad Whitson, the commissioner’s office said Thursday.
The 51-year-old DiMuro made his major league debut at second base in Boston’s game at Kansas City on July 31, 1997, and became a full-time member of the big league staff in 1999. Bothered by back problems in recent years, he has not worked since he was at second for Miami’s game at Washington on July 8 last year.
DiMuro called balls and strikes for the perfect game for Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay against Florida on May 29, 2010. DiMuro’s father, Lou, was an American League umpire from 1963 to 1982 and worked the plate for a no-hitter by Baltimore’s Jim Palmer against Oakland on Aug. 13, 1969.
Mike DiMuro worked the AL Division Series in 2000, ’10 and ’13, and he was at third base for the 2005 All-Star Game at Detroit. The only other father-son duos to work the plate for no-hitters were Harry and Hunter Wendelstedt, and Ed and Paul Runge.
He became the first American umpire in the Japanese major leagues when he officiated in the Central League in 1997, but the firm style of U.S. umpires caused criticism. He ejected Chunichi’s Yasuaki Taiho from a game that June, and the Dragons slugger hit DiMuro on the chest. DiMuro met with league officials and then quit.
In the time before video review, DiMuro had an embarrassing moment at Yankee Stadium on June 26, 2012, when he was fooled by New York left fielder Dewayne Wise, who flipped into the stands while trying to catch Jack Hannahan’s foul drive and came up with his glove closed. DiMuro called Hannahan out, not realizing Wise did not catch the ball as he went over the low wall with two outs and a runner on third in the seventh inning of a game the Yankees won 6-4.
“I went out on the ball and saw the ball into his glove in the stands. He disappeared into the stands and I believed that the ball was in his glove,” DiMuro said. “In hindsight, I should have asked him to show me the ball since he fell into the stands and out of my line of vision.”
DiMuro’s twin brother, Ray, was an AL substitute umpire from 1996 to 1999.
The 37-year-old Whitson worked big league spring training starting in 2012, made his debut on May 15, 2014, and has worked 399 regular-season games.