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After retiring as a player, Babe Pinelli turned to umpiring. He was behind the plate at the first night game at Crosley Field, in 1935, and called Don Larsen's perfect World Series game in 1956.


Pinelli remained hot-tempered with the Reds but was ejected from only one game.


One argument had the Reds clubhouse rocking with laughter. It involved Dolph Luque, the Cuban pitcher, and Pinelli. One day after Pinelli made a suggestion to Luque on how to pitch a certain batter, Luque went into a rage. He grabbed a pair of scissors and stormed after the third baseman. Bohne intercepted Luque and grabbed the weapon, but Luque wasn't finished.


"You get taxicab, I get taxicab, then we get guns and have a duel," said a deadly serious Luque. The rest of the team howled with laughter, taking the heat out of the situation. The incident blew over and the two became good friends.


"He was a nice fellow most of the time," Pinelli said of Luque. "He just happened to have a temper that was even worse than mine."



Pinelli's career with the Reds ended in 1927 and he returned to play in the Pacific Coast League through the 1932 season. By then, he had decided to become an umpire.

Odds were 10 to 1 against his success because of his fighting record, but he succeeded. Not only did he become a good umpire, he became a great one.


He was the home plate umpire in Cincinnati when the first night game was played at Crosley Field. His swan song was Larsen's perfect game against Brooklyn in the 1956 World Series.



It was quite a way, indeed, to end a career, calling "Strike three" on the final out of the only perfect game in World Series history.





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