In early January, while wrapping up a 3-month umpire stint in the Dominican Winter League, Hal “Tripp” Gibson got a call. The call. The one every umpire in the minor leagues is waiting for.
Major League baseball officials, including Hall of Fame player and manager Joe Torre, called to congratulate him on his promotion to an MLB umpire. After nine years of umpiring in the Minor Leagues and working as an MLB call-up umpire since 2013, Gibson signed an official MLB contract, making him one of the few who fill that elite role. Gibson immediately called his wife and parents to share the good news and thank them for their support. He also spent the next several weeks personally thanking those who encouraged him on his journey. “This has been my dream for so long,” Gibson says. “Now that it’s finally here, it’s hard to express the full emotion of the opportunity. I’m just incredibly thankful.”