Davis in 2011
|Born: February 22, 1953|
St. Louis, Missouri
|June 9, 1982|
|Career highlights and awards|
Gerald Sidney Davis (born February 22, 1953) is an umpire in Major League Baseball. Having worked in the National League from 1982 to 1999, he became a member of the unified umpiring staff for Major League Baseball in 2000. He has been a crew chief since 1999. He has umpired five World Series, nine League Championship Series and eleven League Division Series. He has also worked in the All-Star Game four times. Davis has worn uniform number 12 throughout his career.
As of the start of the 2019 season, Davis is MLB's second-most senior umpire (after Joe West), although Davis has the longest uninterrupted tenure due to West being forced to sit out two seasons (2000-01) after the failed mass resignation strategy of former Major League Umpires Association executive director Richie Phillips in July 1999. Davis, along with all National League umpires at the time, tendered his resignation, but rescinded it, and was not chosen as one of the 22 MLB umpires to lose their jobs by commissioner Bud Selig and MLB executive vice president Sandy Alderson.
He has officiated in 22 postseasons, including the World Series in 1996, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2012; the League Championship Series in 1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2018; the Division Series in 1996, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015; and the Wild Card Game in 2013, 2014 and 2018. He also umpired the All-Star Game in 1989, 1997, 2002 and 2012; he called balls and strikes on the last two occasions.
In the 2014 season, Davis's crew was Phil Cuzzi, Brian Knight, and a AAA fill-in umpire, until Quinn Wolcott was officially hired as a full-time umpire in July 2014 due to the retirement of Gary Darling. In 2016, his crew includes Sam Holbrook, Rob Drake and a AAA Call-Up Umpire.
Davis was reprimanded by Major League Baseball on September 1, 2014, for making 'crybaby' faces at Oakland A's players. The league statement said, "We expect our umpires to remain professional on the field at all times."
On September 19 at Tropicana Field, instant replay overturned a call on the field for the first time ever in the major leagues. A fly ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays' first baseman Carlos Peña, the umpires ruled, was interfered with by a fan sitting in the front row of the stands, when the ball hit the hands of the fan and fell back onto the field of play. After Joe Maddon requested the umpires hold a conference to discuss the play, the umpires, headed by Gerry Davis, decided to look at instant replay. Just over four minutes later, Davis returned to the field and signaled that the ball was a home run.
Davis was the home plate umpire for the last game played at Shea Stadium on September 28, 2008.
With his assignment to the 2012 World Series, Davis set an officiating record for most postseason games umpired in major league history with 115 and since then this mark has moved forward to 128 games.
Davis owns a company, Gerry Davis Sports, which specializes in umpiring equipment and clothing. Gerry Davis Sports sells specially designed leg guards which give a small area at the top for the hands to rest, consistent with Davis's unique umpiring stance. (When umpiring behind the plate, Davis bends down only about three-quarters as far as the conventional stance. He leans his back forward slightly and grabs the top of his leg guards with his extended arms.) These leg guards also eschew the normal straps with metal hooks, in favor of straps with plugs that hook into little notches.