12 For 12 with Gerry Davis: An Umpire Podcast
Baseball is back, and so is 12 for 12 with Gerry Davis - a podcast for umpires, hosted by the umpire who has worked the most playoff games in Major League Baseball history. These 12 minute podcasts with #12 give a look behind the mask of Gerry's 38-year career in the big leagues. New episodes are released weekly on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and this page. Submit questions, comments, or requests for guests to email@example.com.
11/18/20: Hunter Wendelstedt | MLB veteran Hunter Wendelstedt talks about following in the footsteps of a father who is a legendary umpire, taking over the operations of the Wendelstedt Umpire School, and the challenges of the 2020 season.
10/24/20: World Series Umpire Mark Carlson | 23-year MLB veteran Mark Carlson talks about some of the challenges of the 2020 season, life in the "bubble," and his upcoming assignment of calling balls and strikes for Game 7 of the World Series.
9/19/20: Rob Drake - Part 2 | In the second half of our conversation with Gerry's longtime partner, Rob Drake gives advice about game preparation and dealing with "butterflies," discusses how he's dealt with the pain of injuries, and tells a story about his ejection of Lou Piniella that led to fans littering Wrigley Field.
9/12/20: Rob Drake - Part 1 | Veteran umpire Rob Drake recalls what it was like getting the call to MLB after working in the Minor Leagues for over 15 years, tells a story about how his first appearance in professional baseball started in the middle of an at-bat, and shares memories from behind the plate for Felix Hernandez’s perfect game.
9/5/20: Greg Gibson - Part 2 | "Gibbo" shares his thoughts on how to accept not being "perfect" as an umpire, talks about some of the biggest games he's worked alongside Gerry, and tells a classic story of an off-the-field interaction with Bobby Cox that ended in a headlock.
8/29/20: Greg Gibson - Part 1 | Gerry's longtime partner Greg Gibson joined the show to talk about the accident that sidelined him for the 2020 season, how the MLB replay operation has changed due to COVID-19, and leaving college to pursue umpiring.
8/22/20: Making an Impression | Gerry describes how MLB evaluates its umpires, what it means to "hustle" as an official, the importance of appearance on the field, and draws comparisons between umpiring and playing pool.
8/15/20: Easing the Tension | Gerry talks about when the time is right for an older umpire to stick up for a younger umpire, when to discuss a past incident with a player or manager, and tells a story about Harry Wendelstedt easing the tension between he and Gary Carter.
8/1/20: Listener Questions | 12 For 12 listeners asked Gerry for advice to umpires who have been away from the game but want to return, his thoughts on adding the Designated Hitter in the National League, the best way to explain rulings to managers, and more.
7/18/20: Opting Out | Gerry talks about his decision to opt-out of working the shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season, what that means for his immediate future, and career as a whole.
7/11/20: Creatures of Habit | Gerry talks about how COVID-19 has affected the typical routines of umpires everywhere, remembers the atmosphere from his first World Series, and describes how his stance behind the plate has contributed to his health.
7/4/20: Baseball is Back! | In the first episode of Season 2, Gerry talks about some of the questions surrounding the upcoming season, his pursuit of 5,000 career games in Major League Baseball, and his pending retirement.
10/3/19: Umpire Equipment & Protection | Gerry talks about the start of Gerry Davis Sports, the original Gerry Davis Plate Shoe, and the new Con-CUSHION Mask Enhancer that saved him from a concussion late this season.
9/26/19: The Adrian Beltre On-Deck Circle Ejection Gerry talks about upcoming Postseason assignments, and then tells his side of the story from ejecting Adrian Beltre for moving the on-deck circle in 2017.
9/12/19: Phil Cuzzi - Part 3 | Phil Cuzzi shares the emotional story about his chance encounter with National League president Len Coleman that led him back to professional umpiring after being released by Major League Baseball.
9/5/19: Phil Cuzzi - Part 2 | In part 2 of this 3-part series, Phil Cuzzi talks about getting the call to the Major Leagues for the first time, and the subsequent call from Branch Rickey notifying him of his release, which kept him out of baseball for 3 years.
8/29/19: Phil Cuzzi - Part 1 | Gerry’s longtime partner Phil Cuzzi joined 12 For 12 and told stories about working Little League games for $15, the first time he knew he wanted to umpire professionally, going to umpire school four times before getting a job, and getting singled out by Hall of Fame umpire Al Barlick.
8/15/19: Ted Barrett - Part 2 | In the second part of his 2-part interview, Crew Chief and 23-year MLB veteran Ted Barrett joins 12 for 12 to tell some of his memorable run-ins with managers, including the record-breaking ejection of Bobby Cox and the time that Jim Tracy asked Ted to run him from the game. Ted also gives some great recommendations for aspiring professional umpires.
8/8/19: Ted Barrett - Part 1 Crew Chief and 23-year MLB veteran Ted Barrett joined 12 For 12 to talk about getting into umpiring at a younger age than most, starting his Calling For Christ ministry, his background as a boxer, and working behind the plate for the longest game in World Series history.
8/1/19: Joe West - Part 3 Gerry talks with "Cowboy" Joe West about his friendship with country music legend Merle Haggard, closing in on the record for most games umpired in Major League Baseball history, his thoughts on replay and automated strike zones, and overturning the call when Alex Rodriguez swiped the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in the 2004 ALCS.
7/25/19: Joe West - Part 2 In the second episode of this three-part series, Joe West tells stories about Pudge Rodriguez parking in his spot at the stadium, getting a memento from Nolan Ryan after working his 5th no-hitter, and the beginning of his country music career.
7/18/19: Joe West - Part 1 Legendary umpire "Cowboy" Joe West joined 12 For 12 to talk about how he first got into umpiring at the high school level, learning something from every umpire he's worked with, and how watching replays has changed throughout his time in Major League Baseball. Part 1 of a 3-part series.
7/11/19: A Little Less Than Friendly Gerry talks about the difference between being cordial with players vs. fraternizing during games, and the balance that umpires at all levels need to keep. He also discusses how an umpire’s off-field personality should be reflected by on-field personality.
6/27/19: 100% Chance of Being 50% Wrong Gerry talks about ejecting Michael Pineda for using pine tar during a game between the Yankees and Red Sox in 2014, and what it's like for an umpire to be trending on Twitter. He also addresses the epidemic of abuse that umpires and officials are experiencing at amateur levels.
6/20/19: Behind The Seams Gerry gives a behind-the-"seams" look at his past confrontations with Bobby Cox, Tommy Lasorda, and Darren Daulton. He also tells a story about Mike Maddux asking long-time American League umpire Ken Kaiser which pitch to throw Albert Belle in the middle of an at-bat.
6/13/19: You Take Care of Your Team, I'll Take Care of My Team Did you know that being an umpire can be just like being a grocery store clerk? Gerry passes along a fable that he was told as a student in umpire school that explains why. He also tells a couple stories about on-field interactions between Hall of Famers and legendary umpires - one between Tommy Lasorda and Terry Tata, and the other between Barry Bonds and Bruce Froemming.
6/6/19: Working Memorable Games Gerry talks about some of the biggest and most memorable games in his career like Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout performance and his first World Series plate job, and the mementos he kept to remember those games forever. He also touches on his relationship with former player and manager Joe Torre, who now oversees the Major League umpires.
5/30/19: Randy Johnson's Perfect Game: 15 Years Later Gerry was U2 and 2019 crew mate Greg Gibson was the plate umpire for Randy Johnson's perfect game vs. Atlanta in 2004. Gerry discusses what it was like to work a plate job with pitchers like The Big Unit and Kerry Wood. What kind of advice did Gerry give to his plate partner during the perfect game? How does a professional umpire prepare for working the plate on a game with one pitcher compared to another? Take a peek at an inside look at some baseball history!
5/23/19: Firm But Fair Gerry discusses his umpiring mentors and how their influences helped him become firm, yet fair in his demeanor and game management.One of the big takeaways in this episode was the word "empathy," and the role it plays in an umpire's demeanor. He explains how National League umpires Terry Tata and the late Harry Wendelstedt were influential in handling situations and leading an umpire crew.
5/16/19: Concussion Protocol Gerry discusses the concussion protocol umpires follow after one of his crew members was taken down due to an injury. He also expands on how calls are handled when they go to replay review in New York, and talks about some of the influential umpires that helped shape his career early in the National League.
5/9/19: MLB's Replay Center Gerry talks about the type of feedback he and his crew members receive from MLB, the unique opportunities he has had to give back to the umpiring community, and then gives an overview of MLB's replay center in New York. Hear what is being said on the headsets between a crew chief and the replay official, and what it's like to work in "the ultimate man-cave."
5/2/19: Handling On-Field Situations Gerry discusses his philosophy on handling on-field situations with players, coaches, and managers. How much chirping is acceptable from the dugout when it comes to your strike zone? What's the "magic word?" He also shares a funny story about an on-field argument with manager Jim Leyland.
4/25/19: The Role of a Big League Crew Chief Gerry talks about traveling as a professional umpire, their clubhouse arrangement, and how he views his role as a crew chief. He also discusses who his major influences were coming up through his early days in professional baseball, and how they impacted the way he handles situations on the field.
4/18/19: An Inside Look at a Crew Pre-Game and Working Together Gerry discusses how umpire crews are put together before the baseball season, as well as what is involved in a typical MLB pregame and the plate meeting. He also talks about getting feedback from crew members and addresses whether an umpire, if asked, should give feedback to a senior umpire.
4/11/19: We're Human - When a Call Gets Overturned by Replay Gerry talks about what his mental process is after he gets a call overturned by replay, or when he may have missed a pitch. Gerry also talks about umpiring in the World Series, dealing with pressure, and his game day routine.
4/4/19: Spring Training and Earning a Spot in the Big Leagues Gerry Davis discusses how a spring training schedule works, how spring training crews are put together, what it's like to work with minor league umpires trying to earn a spot onto an MLB crew, and what he looks for when mentoring umpires.
3/27/19: Meet MLB Crew Chief Gerry Davis Gerry Davis sits down to discuss the start of his record 38th consecutive year of service, his experience in umpire school, the minor leagues, and his call to the big leagues.