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Baseball Owners, Umps File Appeal

January 11, 2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Baseball owners and umpires filed appeals Friday of a federal judge’s decision that ordered management to rehire nine of the 22 umpires who lost their jobs following a failed mass resignation in 1999.

The commissioner’s office and the Major League Umpires Association filed the appeals with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appeals throw into question whether the case will be concluded _ and any umpires rehired _ by the start of the coming season.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III upheld a decision by arbitrator Alan Symonette that ordered baseball to rehire Drew Coble, Gary Darling, Bill Hohn, Greg Kosc, Larry Poncino, Larry Vanover, Joe West, Frank Pulli and Terry Tata.

Bartle also ordered new arbitration hearings for Paul Nauert, Bruce Dreckman and Sam Holbrook.

Bartle denied reinstatement to 10 umpires, including well-known faces such as Richie Garcia and Eric Gregg. The others who lost their jobs were Bob Davidson, Tom Hallion, Jim Evans, Dale Ford, Ed Hickox, Mark Johnson, Ken Kaiser, Larry McCoy.

The judge’s order to rehire the nine umpires and give them back pay and benefits, unless overturned, would cost owners at least $5 million.

Richie Phillips’ MLUA called for the mass resignation in July 1999 as a bargaining tactic as new contract negotiations approached.

The move backfired when baseball accepted the resignations and hired new umpires to replace them. In a federally supervised election, umpires replaced the MLUA with a new union, the World Umpires Association.

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