Ballplayer Kills Umpire Over Scoring Disagreement

“My favorite umpire is a dead one.”
– Johnny Evers
Hall of Fame Second Baseman

Young v. State, 10 Ga.App. 116, 72 S.E. 935 (Ga.App. 1911)

What happened?

Defendant, Young, was a member of a baseball team that played a baseball game on a Saturday afternoon.  The deceased, Williams, was umpiring the game and keeping score.

During the game, a scoring disagreement occurred – Young claimed that the opposing team had scored three runs; however, Williams had given them five runs, which lead to an argument in which “cursing followed.”  Williams started toward the defendant with his hand in his pocket and Young reacted by pulling a gun and shooting Williams, killing him.

Young was indicted for murder but was ultimately convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison.

Young appealed the conviction, seeking a new trial.

How did the court rule?

Young’s request for a new trial was denied and the conviction was upheld.

“Where a baseball player and an umpire become involved in a quarrel over a point in the game, and while the umpire is advancing toward the player with his hand in his pocket the player pulls his pistol and kills the umpire, a verdict finding the player guilty of voluntary manslaughter is not contrary to law, nor without evidence to support it.”

There was no indication in the opinion whether Williams had a weapon in his pocket or had made any claim he had a weapon.

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