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57 Umpires Plan To Resign Sept. 2

July 14, 1999

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A majority of major league umpires, looking to take the first step in a labor confrontation with owners, said they would resign Sept. 2 and not work the final 4 1/2 weeks of the season.

The move was announced following a sometimes raucous meeting of the Major League Umpires Association at a Philadelphia hotel.

Umpires have been angry since NL president Len Coleman said on July 2 he was suspending umpire Tom Hallion for three days for bumping a player, the first suspension of an umpire for on-field conduct that baseball officials can remember.

``The tension is much greater than it’s ever been,″ umpires’ union head Richie Phillips said.

The umpires have a labor contract that runs through this season, and bars strikes, so the resignations are an attempt to get around that. Phillips said

Eleven umpires will announce their resignations in the next few days.

Phillips said the 57 umpires attending the meeting originally voted to go on strike immediately before changing their vote to instead resign.

``The purpose of this meeting was to address quarrels with baseball,″ Phillips said. ``We wanted to come here to address those grievances.″

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