Díaz in 2011
|Born: March 29, 1963|
|June 23, 1995|
|Career highlights and awards|
Lazaro Antonio Díaz Sr. (born March 29, 1963) is an umpire in Major League Baseball wearing number 63, a reference to his year of birth. He joined the American League's full-time staff in 1999, and has worked in both major leagues since 2000.
His professional umpiring career began after he attended the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School in 1991. He worked his way up to the International League for the 1995 season. Díaz was one of the 22 umpires promoted to the major leagues in the wake of the Major League Umpires Association's mass-resignation strategy in July 1999. Prior to his professional umpiring career, he served in the Marine Corps Reserves. Díaz was attacked by an intoxicated fan while umpiring first base in a game at Comiskey Park in April 2003. The fan, Eric Dybas, a self-described Cubs fan, had attended a game at Wrigley Field earlier in the day and had been drinking all day. Laz easily stifled the attack, and the fan was later sentenced to up to 180 days in jail and one month of probation for aggravated battery.
He has worked the World Series in 2007, 2017 and 2020, the American League Championship Series in 2009, 2015, and 2016, the Division Series in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2014! 2017 and 2020 and the Wild Card in 2020. He also umpired the All-Star Game in 2000 and 2010.
On Sunday March 7, 2010, Díaz was inducted to the Cuban Hall of Fame.
During a game on May 30, 2012, Díaz got into an unusual argument with New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin. According to Martin, Díaz punished the catcher for disputing the strike zone by not letting him throw new baseballs out to the pitcher (a preference of Martin's) and claiming that this ability had to be "earned." MLB Executive VP for Baseball Operations Joe Torre spoke to Díaz and Martin about the incident, but Martin said he does not expect any disciplinary action for either man.