Frank Pulli
{ "" }
Share Frank's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Longtime major league umpire Frank Pulli, who used instant replay to make a call nearly a decade before video reviews were allowed, has died. He was 78.

Major League Baseball said Pulli died Wednesday in Palm Harbor, Fla., from complications of Parkinson's disease.

Pulli umpired in the National League from 1972-99 and worked four World Series, six NL championship series and two All-Star games.

In the 1978 World Series between the Yankees and Dodgers, Pulli was involved in a call on the bases involving Reggie Jackson that was hotly disputed by Los Angeles manager Tom Lasorda.

Pulli was among the 22 umpires who lost their jobs in a failed mass resignation. He was an MLB umpire supervisor from 2000-07 and charted pitches, helping umps improve their ball-strike calls.

Many young umpires looked at Pulli as a mentor. He also was a pioneer — not that he intended to be one.

Early in the 1999 season, Cliff Floyd of the Marlins hit a drive against St. Louis that was originally ruled a double. The Marlins argued and Pulli, the crew chief, changed it to a home run.

That drew an argument from the Cardinals, so Pulli decided to check replays on a TV camera near the Marlins' dugout. Pulli then overturned his own call and put Floyd back at second base.

The Marlins filed a protest that was denied by NL president Len Coleman. But Coleman also said Pulli was incorrect to use replay.

In 2008, MLB approved the use of replay on potential home runs.

Pulli was part of another noted play during Game 4 of the 1978 World Series. The Dodgers tried to turn an inning-ending double play in the sixth, but a relay throw by second baseman Davey Lopes glanced off Jackson's leg.

A run scored and Lasorda argued that Jackson should've been out for interference. Pulli was at first base and allowed the play to stand. The Yankees won in 10 innings, and wrapped up the title in six games.

Pulli also was the first base umpire when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run and broke Babe Ruth's record. For all his games, though, Pulli never worked a no-hitter in the majors.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Published in Wilmington Star-News on Aug. 29, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
73 entries
April 12, 2018
Never will be Forgotten.
John Wyant
April 11, 2018
Frank came across my mind today when there was a fight between the Yanks and Red Sox and the umps had to intervene. I knew our mutual friend Eric Gregg had passed away some time ago, but I missed the fact that my super spirited, honest, genuine bud Frank, had passed away. He is a true legend in the field and one of the most well-respected officials in any sport. Eric and Frank made my working at the Braves stadium in the early 90's such a joy. They helped me get 34 baseballs signed by all the legendary players and often hung with me and the crew after hours to unwind after the games. Frank was always a true gentleman and the life of the party! I will miss knowing he is no longer with us, dearly!
Tina Fleming
January 30, 2017
My condolences to Frank's family. I served with Frank in the Air Force in Alaska in 1956. He was a radio operator on our B-29's and flew many Radar evaluation missions along the Russian border. He loved baseball and played shortstop on our unit team, of which I was the couch. I didn't know that he had become an umpire until a few years back, when I heard an announcer identify him as the first base couch and took a closer look. When I saw the way he stood, I immediately knew that it was my old shortstop. Rest in peace, Airman.
Adrian Sheely
November 11, 2016
Valenda Newell
June 18, 2016
For some reason I thought about Frank Pulli today talking about baseball umpires. Never had the pleasure of meeting him, but always enjoyed watching him umpire the plate. Loved those punch-outs. Sorry to read that he passed away some time ago, will always be one of my favorites even though I live in a American League city. Rest in peace Sir, condolenses to his family, sorry so late.
Robert Piechowski
August 14, 2014
I met Frank in San Francisco in 1977, and I remember so well his kindness and generosity. I introduced him to my parents, who lived near Chicago and were great Cubs fans. Frank invited them to call him whenever he was in town to work, and he'd arrange for passes for them to see a game at Wrigley Field. They took him up on the offer several times, often sharing a meal after the game. They were so proud they knew him, and he was a charming, entertaining dinner guest.

I haven't been paying attention to baseball for a very long time. I only learned today of Frank's passing nearly a year ago, so please forgive the lateness of the family condolences I'm sending now. But I also know that the first anniversary of a loved one's passing can be very difficult. So I hope you'll be a bit comforted, even at this late date, to know that the memory of Frank's gentle calm, professionalism, and delightful sense of humor are still cherished by old friends. RIP, Frank.
Bettyann Reed
May 1, 2014
This main had a heart of gold. One of my long time customers at Tampa Bay Downs. What a legend and a man. My heart goes out to his family. Always in my heart. He did a lot for me.
Melanie Wyatt-Culbertson
October 29, 2013
I met frank in 1972 when he was a minor league umpire.He was a man on a mission to make it to the big leagues.He was called up that year.Frank and Big John Mcsherry together again. My sympathy to his family. He left a lasting impression on those who had the pleasure of crossing his path. God Bless
Sharon Montgomery
October 6, 2013
Dear Pulli Family,

I just found out about Frank's passing. He was a great man and a good friend. He was the first umpire to wear the chest protector I designed when I worked for Riddell while living in Houston, TX. Every time his crew came to town to do the Astros games we would always go to lunch or dinner. When I would ask him what he felt like eating, I always got the same answer... Italian. Eventually I quit asking.
Ted Monica
October 5, 2013
Photo of me from approx. 1985
My father was living in Florida and up visiting me at my home in Ithaca, N.Y. My father was a cook and a boxer in the Navy when he served. We were watching my team the New York Mets play on t.v. And Frank Puli was behind the plate doing his thing punching out strikes with the style of a boxer. I always loved games which he was behind the plate because he always made me think of my father. So as we were watching the game together I turned to my dad and told him how watching Frank call a game reminded me of him. I asked him if he understood why and he replied he did. I even thought he had some resemblance to Frank Puli. As a child I would watch games with my father but I never understood it or really cared much for the game. He was a New York Yankee fan. In 1985 - 1986 I became a fan of baseball myself after getting hooked on the Amazing year of 1986 that no Mets fan will ever forget. I was sad to learn the Mr. Puli had passed away. I always wanted to write him to let him know I admired him. I even. Always wanted to get his autograph or write him somehow and see if he would write me back. I wish I had tried. I think umpires aren't appreciated enough. Especially the umpires like Mr. Puli who were not just calling the games but had personality and were fun to watch...even to listen to for some. My father passed away in 1993. At the time of his passing he lived in Stewart, Florida. Just across from Port St. Lucy were my Mets play spring training and is the home of their single A team. One last thing about my dad I should mention...My fathers name also was "Frank". Thank You Mr. Frank Puli. I always appreciated you. Even though this is being done late I just want the family to know I feel for their loss.
Joad Coleman
September 10, 2013
Dear Family,
Mr. Pulli was a friend to my father, Judge Alfred Williams in Northampton County. Dad would take my children, his grandchildren , to Phillies games when Mr. Pulli was the umpire. He would always greet them and would most often produce a player signed game ball. My children will never forget his thoughtfulness. God Bless Him.
Beth Boyer
September 7, 2013
Frank Pulli Family. I umpired two teenage games with Frank then He went to Umpire School in Florida and came out First in his Class. 1972, Frank and John McSharry had an Umpire School at The Easton VFW. We learned to use the inside chest protecter and how to take the bal thrown by the Catcher on a steel of 2nd. base. Thanks Umpire Pulli for all your Teaching. Enjoy your God with peace.
Joe Dagon II
September 5, 2013
mike, we are sorry to hear of your fathers passing. he had one heck of a ride that only few can imagine.
the fabians
September 5, 2013
Dear Kim and family, May you find comfort in knowing how special Frank was to so many people. He was a great man and loved his family very much. We will all miss him dearly. Peace and Love, Anne & Marty Farb
Anne Farb
September 5, 2013
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
george martin
September 4, 2013
Micky, so sorry for your loss. May God embrace you and your family.
From the old neighborhood. The Johnsons.
Betty & Don Johnson
September 4, 2013
Sympathy to the Pulli family as Frank was one of the best things in life.
John Wyant (
John Wyant
September 4, 2013
Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you.
Kathy Sampson
September 4, 2013
My condolences to the Pulli family. I will always remember Frank for his kindness to me and my family. May he rest in peace.
Karl Hettel
September 4, 2013
My sincere condolences to the Pulli family. My dad, Joe "Smokey" Morello, knew Mr. Pulli years ago and he was always so kind. May your memories comfort you as you celebrate his life.
Jody Bender
September 3, 2013
Thank you all for the kind words for my father. I couldn't agree more. I will be truly missed. I love you my father and will see you on the other side.
Frank Pulli Jr
September 3, 2013
My prayers go out to Frank's family and friends may you rest in peace Frank.
Laura Good - Corby
September 3, 2013
My deepest condolences to the Pulli family, My father Danny and Frank were great friends may you rest in peace Mr. Pulli.................
September 3, 2013
My deepest condolences to the Pulli family
Frank umpired many games that I played in while growing up in Phillipsburg,NJ.
There was never any doubt that Frank would one day be umpiring in major league baseball. He had that unforgettable warm smile and was a fine and decent human being. He will truly be miss by those who knew him.


Monroeville, PA
September 3, 2013
Frank was a fine man and a great umpire... who loved it from the start. I encouraged him to take most of the baseball games @ Notre Dame High School and this materialized for him to go to umpire school in Florida. God bless him and his family.
Junie Rich
September 3, 2013
Deepest Sympathies to Frankie's family...we all loved him...he was the best...and, he will never, ever be forgotten....May he Rest in Eternal sad...
Stevie Constantine
September 3, 2013
God Bless you in your time of sorrow,sorry for your loss Mickey !!!!!
David Houser
September 3, 2013
May God wrap you in his arms and remember All yours. Malachi3:16
September 3, 2013
So sorry to lose another one of the ehs 1953 good friends.havent been in touch for some time now,,but knowing who he really was ,,,im sure he will be to the family.
Jack Robinson
September 2, 2013
My prayers and condolences to the Pulli family.I have known Frank since we were kids. He was a dear friend of mine. We spent many happy times together. I graduated from high school with him. His father Wes taught him umpiring. He was a fair umpire. May he R.I.P. He will be missed. Condolences to Mickey. Fond memories will always stay with me. He is away from all his suffering now. the Lord will welcome him into his home.
Dawn Kindt
September 2, 2013
My thoughts and prayers to the Pulli family. Frank was a good friend at EHS.
Joan (Inderelst) Reynolds
Huntington Beach, Ca.
September 2, 2013
My sincere condolence to the family and friends, may you find comfort knowing God brings comfort to thoses broken at heart
September 2, 2013
My condolences to the Pulli family. Losing a loved one is the most painful experience. May God who is near to those broken at heart comfort you during this difficult time.
A Reed
September 2, 2013
I Salute You Sir. GOD BLESS YOU. May You Rest In Peace.
Dale Stinson
September 2, 2013
We'll miss you !
Adrian Barnette
September 1, 2013
So happy to be a friend of the Pulli Family. Frankie Was always fun to be around and we loved our horses. He would know what I mean. I was blessed to visit him at home during his final journey. Don't wory Frankie. We will all keep an eye on the girls and I know you will be watching.
Sherrie Mendizza
September 1, 2013
sorry to hear of your lost please accept my condolences and may the god of comfortstrengthen you 1cor 1 3 4 from EW
September 1, 2013
Attended high school with his son, may he rest in peace and enjoy the great game in heaven.
Tom Calandra
August 31, 2013
There will be a time where death will be no more. No pain and suffering are things that the bible will make go away forever.
bible student
August 31, 2013
May the peace of God that excels all thought comfort the family during this difficult time.
August 31, 2013
One day God will take away sickness and death and we will all have the privilege to live happily and health forever. (John 6:40)
August 31, 2013
A new addition to the "Field of Dreams" crew calling balls and strikes.
RIP, Mr. Pulli
WIlliam L.
August 31, 2013
michelle plakas-kaiser
August 31, 2013
I am sorry for your loss. May you be comforted by the words at Jeremiah 29:11.
August 31, 2013
With deepest sympathy to the Pulli family during your time of grief...God is for you a refuge and strength, A help that is there to be found during difficult times...May God provide you with peace and comfort to endure the days ahead...(Psalm 62:8).
August 31, 2013
Dear Pulli Family,
I'm so sorry about the loss of your loved one. (Eccl. 9:11, 12). Always pray to the Hearer of Prayer. - Psalms 65:2; 83:18.
E Harris
August 31, 2013
To the Pulli family: May the memories you cherish fill your heart with peace today and give you strength and courage to sustain you on your way. (Psalms 28:8)
Carmen B
August 31, 2013
An umpire with integrity. He will be missed.
C Boone
August 31, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
irene rev.21:4
August 30, 2013
To the Pulli family,
Please feel comfort with knowing that Frank left a lasting impression with everyone he has met. His integrity was seen and appreciated on and off the diamond.

With all our love and prayers. Jim, Candy, Ian and Owen
Jim O'Neill
August 30, 2013
in God's care rest in peace
Dwayne Bickham
August 30, 2013
To the Pulli Family: My sincere condolences to you. I knew Frank many years ago & he was so entertaining. Prayers are with you.
RuthAnne Hicks
August 30, 2013
It takes a pretty good man to correct himself in front of the world, after watching it on replay when replays were not. It suggests to me it is all about the game.
Dave Johnson
August 30, 2013
god bless you an your`Frank@V-V
August 30, 2013
My condolences to the Pulli family. Frank's brother was my elementary school teacher and they seemed very close. He was very proud and talked about Frank all the time. Frank Pulli was to umpiring what Harry Kalas was to the Phillies. There weren't many games you didn't see Frank Pulli on the umpiring crew, especially at Vet Stadium. RIP.
Stephanie Sigafoos
August 30, 2013
Mr. Pulli provided insight and accuracy into baseball even before the video replay was a reality. I grew up watching and listening to his umpiring skills in MLB. I send my sincere sympathy to his family, as well as my deep appreciation for the skills he brought to the game
August 30, 2013
enjoy a greatgameUSA Sports/BaseBall@V-V
Our condolences
to the pulli family
Thanks for the
inspired ways you
kept honor with fair
great game..
"with an inside venue
for fun legacy of
Major league BaseBall"
Victoria&Andrew VZj
August 30, 2013
We would like to offer our sympathy and condolences to the family of Frank Pulli.

RIP !!!
August 30, 2013
My thoughts are with the Pulli family during this difficult time. Frank was one in a million and will be missed by all who knew him. Rest in Peace Frank.
August 30, 2013
I met Mr.Pulli In the Mid 80's in Montreal at a Expos & N.Y. Mets game Still have is Autograph. May you rest in Peace Mr.Pulli in Baseball Heaven.
Gordon Kircoff
August 30, 2013
Frankie you are with the guy upstairs now. Love and prayers to your family.
August 30, 2013
Mr. Pulli, you were a great asset to Major League Baseball. True to the game -- you are legend.
Terri & Mike Patillo
August 30, 2013
One of the GREAT ONES!! I remember some of the Cubs vs.Cardinals games he did and they were always great to watch call the game!! He will be truly missed by all who knew him and loved on and off the Ball Diamond where he worked!!
ron peirce
August 30, 2013
To the Pulli Family....he was a great umpire to watch, as an amature umpire I fashioned my style after him. Thanks for sharing his life with me. May he rest in peace.
Everett Marshall
August 30, 2013
Frank was my favorite umpire. He was a pitcher's umpire and I've always felt that batters should swing the bat and not be looking for walks. I admired Frank for this philosophy in his plate work. I modeled my strike call after his but I was never able to duplicate his strike three call. It was obvious by his use of replay before it was ever approved that he was comfortable with himself and not afraid to admit when he was wrong. He appeared to be approachable by managers but they knew where he would draw the line.
Robert Trainer
August 30, 2013
A great guy and a wonderful umpire.
John Wyant
August 30, 2013
god needed an umpire to call the big game in heaven and he got a good one in frank pulli. may our lord comfort and bless his family at this sad time, rest in peace frank and continue to call them like you see them.
victor checketts
August 30, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
August 30, 2013
I live in Port Richey, FL. but was born and raised in Easton, PA. I knew a few of Frank's nephews in Wilson Boro. Frank also umpired some of my Teener League games when I was 15. Frank used to deliver beer to my father at The Lancer Hotel in Wilson. I had spoken with Frank several times at Phillies Spring Training games. I was proud to tell people that he had umpired some of my youth baseball games, and that we were both from Easton, PA. I was a pitcher, so I would have loved his strike zone! RIP.
August 30, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Angela Sortino
August 30, 2013
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
August 29, 2013
R.I.P. Frank his family and friends
August 29, 2013
What a great man. We all know
if family and friends have a lifetime of memories. May he rest in peace,
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences