Native Iowan Umpire Calls Rare Perfect Game in World Series
Leave it to a native Iowan to save his most flawless performance for the biggest stage of his career.
Getting the call to officiate the World Series was already a huge honor for Urbandale, Iowa native Pat Hoberg. Little did he know he would be an even bigger part of history Saturday night, October 29, when he was behind the plate for Game 2 between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies. According to CBS Sports, Umpire Scorecards showed Hoberg went on to call a "perfect game".
From a player standpoint, according to Baseball Reference, a perfect game means the winning pitcher(s) complete an entire nine-inning game without allowing a hit or getting any runner on base.
In umpire terminology, it's different but equally impressive. It means that ball, strike, foul, or walk, he called all 129 of the game's pitches correctly. It was a 5-2 win for Houston and a win for Hoberg, who did it during his first World Series assignment. He had an almost-perfect call during a regular season outing between Philadelphia and the Colorado Rockies. During that game, his only "incorrectly" called pitch was a strike that he called a ball.
Barstool Sports says it was no fluke, calling Hoberg "consistently one of the best at calling balls and strikes in the game." A New York Post article points out the average umpire would have missed nine calls in this game, while the decidedly not-average Hoberg missed ZERO.
Hoberg had previously been involved as a call-up umpire in 371 major league games before becoming full-time in 2017. After being part of the 2021 Field of Dreams game, Hoberg took an even bigger step up this year and with the demands for accuracy of the game, his flawless focus ensured his eyes and ears didn't miss a beat.