MLB Disciplines Umpire Pat Hoberg For Violating Gambling Rules

We publish independently audited information that meets our strong editorial guidelines. Be aware we may earn a commission if you purchase anything via links on our pages.
MLB Disciplines Umpire Pat Hoberg For Violating Gambling Rules

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced Friday it has disciplined umpire Pat Hoberg for violating the league’s gambling rules. This comes 10 days after the league levied a lifetime ban on a player for gambling and suspended four others for one year.

MLB umpire Pat Hoberg is appealing the discipline and has denied gambling on baseball

Hoberg, 37, is appealing the discipline and has denied betting on baseball, according to reports. Hoberg has not umpired a game this season. In a statement, the league did not provide whether its investigation into Hoberg concluded that he had bet on baseball.

MLB said in a press release: “During this year’s Spring Training, Major League Baseball commenced an investigation regarding a potential violation of MLB’s sports betting policies by Umpire Pat Hoberg. Mr. Hoberg was removed from the field during the pendency of that investigation.

“While MLB’s investigation did not find any evidence that games worked by Mr. Hoberg were compromised or manipulated in any way, MLB determined that discipline was warranted. Mr. Hoberg has chosen to appeal that determination. Therefore, we cannot comment further until the appeal process is concluded.”

Hoberg, in a statement to ESPN, said: “I am appealing Major League Baseball’s determination that I should be disciplined for violating the sports betting policies. While that appeal is pending, it would not be appropriate to discuss the case.

“That said, I have devoted my adult life to the profession of umpiring, and the integrity of baseball is of the utmost importance to me. I look forward to the appeal process, and I am grateful that the Major League Baseball Umpires Association is supporting me in the appeal.”

NBA referee Tim Donaghy was the last major American professional sports official to bet on games

If Hoberg gambled, he would be in violation of MLB’s Rule 21. This provision states that MLB personnel caught betting on games in which the individual(s) were involved with will be issued a lifetime ban and games in which they weren’t warrants a year-long suspension.

NBA referee Tim Donaghy was the last major American professional sports official known to bet on games. During his career in the NBA, Donaghy officiated in 772 regular-season games and 26 playoff games.

In July 2008, he was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and transmitting betting information through interstate commerce after admitting that he bet on games over four seasons and passed along tips to gamblers.

Donaghy later admitted to betting on games he officiated in each of the 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, and 2006-07 seasons. He served 11 months in a federal prison camp in Pensacola, Florida, and the remainder of his sentence in a halfway house.

Hoberg is best known for his perfect performance in Game 2 of the 2022 World Series

Furthermore, Pat Hoberg is most recognized for his perfect performance in Game 2 of the 2022 World Series, when he was home-plate umpire and called all 129 balls and strikes correctly. He is praised by fans and players as the best ball-strike umpire in professional baseball.

Hoberg first umpired major league games in 2014 and became a full-time umpire in 2017. He umpired postseason games every year from 2018-2022 and was assigned to pool games in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Earlier this month, MLB banned San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano after a legal sportsbook informed the league that he had bet on games while a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Marcano, 24, became the first active player since New York Giants outfielder Jimmy O’Connell in 1924 to receive a lifetime ban after he placed more than $150,000 worth of bets in October 2022 and from July to November 2023.

The infielder placed 387 baseball bets, including 231 MLB-related wagers. His average wager was $378.

Oakland Athletics reliever Michael Kelly and three minor league players — Arizona reliever Andrew Saalfrank, Padres starter Jay Groome, and Philadelphia infielder Jose Rodriguez — were also suspended for a season for betting on major league games while in the minors. Each wagered less than $1,000.

David Fletcher is under investigation by MLB for allegations that he gambled with an illegal bookmaker

On June 4, the league ended its investigation and cleared Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani after his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, was accused of stealing more than $16 million from Ohtani to cover sports-gambling losses.

This came the same day that Mizuhara pleaded guilty to bank and tax-fraud charges, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 33 years.

Moreover, Ohtani’s former Los Angeles Angels teammate David Fletcher is currently under investigation by MLB for allegations that he gambled with an illegal bookmaker.

“The strict enforcement of Major League Baseball’s rules and policies governing gambling conduct is a critical component of upholding our most important priority: protecting the integrity of our games for the fans,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement announcing the players’ discipline.

“The longstanding prohibition against betting on Major League Baseball games by those in the sport has been a bedrock principle for over a century. We have been clear that the privilege of playing in baseball comes with a responsibility to refrain from engaging in certain types of behavior that are legal for other people.”

Pete Rose, MLB’s active career hits leader, agreed to a lifetime ban in 1989 after an investigation revealed that he had bet on Cincinnati Reds games while managing the team.

To top