Durwood Merrill

Durwood Merrill at Comiskey Park on May 21, 1980

Edwin Durwood Merrill (March 12, 1938 - January 11, 2003) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the American League for 23 seasons (1977-1999).

Born in Cloud Chief, Oklahoma, Merrill was known for being friendly and outgoing, as well as being a top-notch umpire. He was also a leader in charitable work in his hometown of Hooks, Texas. In 1998 he wrote a humorous collection of his experiences, called You're Out and You're Ugly, Too!.



Merrill umpired in the 1988 World Series, as well as American League Championship Series in 1981, 1983, 1987, 1992 and 1997. Merrill was behind the plate in Game 2 of the 1983 ALCS when Mike Boddicker tied an LCS record with 14 strikeouts. He also officiated in the 1984 and 1995 All-Star Games, calling balls and strikes in the second contest, and in the Division Series in 1996, 1998 and 1999. Merrill also called balls and strikes for Jack Morris' no-hitter on April 7, 1984, and was the first base umpire for Nolan Ryan's sixth no-hitter on June 11, 1990.

In Game 4 of the 1997 American League Championship Series, on a wild pitch with runners dashing around the bases, when Merrill gestured to where the ball was, Fox color commentator Tim McCarver sarcastically commented that "maybe he was trying to tell himself where the ball is!" Merrill heard about that, took offense to it, and fired back in his autobiography that he was letting the other umpires know that the situation was under control.

Merrill wore number 33 starting in 1980 when the AL adopted uniform numbers. He came into the AL in 1977, the year that the league made all new umpires on staff wear the inside chest protector, which had been standard in the NL for over 60 years. Umpires who were wearing the outside protector and on staff prior to 1977 were grandfathered. Merrill had one of the largest strike zones in baseball, and was easily recognizable when calling balls and strikes, as he crouched directly behind the catcher and often extended his arms far in front of him. Most home plate umpires work in the "slot", which is to the inside shoulder of the catcher (the left shoulder for a right-handed batter and the right shoulder for a left-handed batter).

Memorabilia collection

Merrill amassed a large memorabilia collection consisting of signed baseballs, game used jerseys and bats from the biggest names in the major leagues. He proudly displayed his impressive collection over the years for the benefit of his charitable efforts of various causes. The collection not only consisted of items he obtained, but he was also entrusted with many items from former umpire Shag Crawford. His charitable efforts for children of Hooks, Texas was remarkable.


A heavy-set man, Merrill suffered a heart attack in early January 2003, and died a few days later in Texarkana, Texas at age 64.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Durwood — or Derwood may refer to: Durwood Merrill (1938 2003), Major League Baseball umpire Durwood Roquemore (born 1960), former professional football player Gene Derwood (1909–1954), American poet and painter Derwood, Maryland, an unincorporated area… …   Wikipedia

  • Tim McCarver — Infobox MLB retired name=Tim McCarver position=Catcher bats=Left throws=Right birthdate=birth date and age|1941|10|16 city state|Memphis|Tennessee debutdate=September 10 debutyear=by|1959 debutteam=St. Louis Cardinals finaldate=October 5… …   Wikipedia

  • Lou DiMuro — Louis John DiMuro (April 24 1931 June 7 1982) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the American League from 1963 until his death.CareerDiMuro was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Henry Snyder High School in Jersey …   Wikipedia

  • Major League Baseball on Fox — Format Baseball Starring Joe Buck Tim McCarver Ken Rosenthal Eric Karros …   Wikipedia

  • Hooks, Texas — Infobox Settlement official name = Hooks, Texas settlement type = City nickname = motto = imagesize = image caption = image mapsize = 250px map caption = Location of Hooks, Texas mapsize1 = 250px map caption1 = subdivision type = Country… …   Wikipedia

  • 1988 World Series — Infobox World Series Expanded year = 1988 champion = Los Angeles Dodgers (4) champion manager = Tommy Lasorda champion games = 94 67, .584, GA: 7 runnerup = Oakland Athletics (1) runnerup manager = Tony La Russa runnerup games = 104 58, .642, GA …   Wikipedia

  • Albert Belle — Infobox MLB retired name=Albert Belle position=Outfielder bats=Right throws=Right birthdate=birth date and age|1966|8|25 city state|Shreveport|Louisiana debutdate=July 15 debutyear=by|1989 debutteam=Cleveland Indians finaldate=October 1 finalyear …   Wikipedia

  • Texas A&M University–Commerce — Infobox University name = Texas A M University–Commerce motto = Ceaseless Industry Fearless Investigation Unfettered Thought established = 1889 type = Public University president = Keith McFarland, Ph.D. campus = city = Commerce state = Texas… …   Wikipedia

  • 2003 in baseball — Year in baseball this year = 2003 Headline event of the year*The Florida Marlins become World Series champions, holding off a dynastic New York Yankees team, 4 games to 2.ChampionsMajor League Baseball*Regular Season Champions Major League… …   Wikipedia

  • 1992 American League Championship Series — Infobox LCS alcs = yes year = 1992 champion = Toronto Blue Jays (4) champion manager = Cito Gaston champion games = 96 66, .593, GA: 4 runnerup = Oakland Athletics (2) runnerup manager = Tony La Russa runnerup games = 96 66, .593, GA: 6 date =… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.