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Cedric
06-05-2006, 02:16 AM
Sad news. Not entirely surprising with his weight issues.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2470705


Former major league umpire Eric Gregg, known for his wide strike zone and well-documented weight problems, suffered a massive stroke Sunday and was unconscious, his son Kevin told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. Gregg was hospitalized at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia.

Eric Gregg
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Gregg, whose battle with weight problems became quite public, was one of baseball's most recognizable umpires.

Gregg's outlook, according to his son, does not look promising, regardless of whether he survives.

"There's no sure sign how much better he can get from here," he said. "He has a large amount of blood in the brain right now."

Kevin Gregg said his father complained to family members on Sunday morning at his home in Ardmore, Pa., that he couldn't feel anything on his left side.

"It became apparent to them that it was a stroke and he was rushed to the hospital," he said.

In early March, the former umpire had his right knee replaced. Kevin Gregg said his father was taking blood thinners to prevent clots.

"They think that triggered a leak in the vessels in the head," he said.

Gregg, 55, was one of 22 umpires who lost their jobs in 1999 as a result of a failed labor strategy. In an attempt to force an early start to contract negotiations, union head Richie Phillips called for mass resignations. Surprisingly, the league accepted the resignations, leaving the 22 men jobless.

In 2001, a judge ordered baseball to rehire nine of the 22 umpires, but Gregg was not one of them.

Three years before losing his job, Gregg was given a leave of absence to begin a weight-loss program. Gregg's decision, through consultation with the National League, came one week after umpire John McSherry collapsed in a game in Cincinnati on Opening Day 1996 and died.

When he took leave, Gregg was listed by the league at 325 pounds. The only umpire at the time heavier than Gregg was the 51-year-old McSherry, who weighed 380 pounds when he died of heart disease.

"In light of recent events," Gregg said then, "I feel this is the right time to take a serious look at my weight and conditioning. My goal is to be a major league umpire for many years to come, and to accomplish that I need to take a closer look at my overall health."

At one point in the late 1980s, Gregg lost 53 pounds after the league office ordered its heavier umpires to drop weight.

Gregg called his first game in 1975 and became a member of the NL staff in 1978. He worked the 1989 World Series, four league championship series, two division series and one All-Star Game.

Jpup
06-05-2006, 02:22 AM
sad stuff. certainly, thoughts and prayers are with he and his family.

Topcat
06-05-2006, 03:50 AM
regg, 55, was one of 22 umpires who lost their jobs in 1999 as a result of a failed labor strategy. In an attempt to force an early start to contract negotiations, union head Richie Phillips called for mass resignations. Surprisingly, the league accepted the resignations, leaving the 22 men jobless.

God I wish Eric would have not blidly followed the ump's union leader and stuck with his job. My pain is for his family and the chancesa he may have had thru insurance to save his life.

RAS
06-05-2006, 06:12 AM
He has always been a very personable guy. I'm sorry to hear about this. My prayers are also with he and his family

RedFanAlways1966
06-05-2006, 08:46 AM
Very sad. A friendly and personable guy. I did not think much of his umpiring, but he seemed to be a great person.

:(

cumberlandreds
06-05-2006, 09:08 AM
I hate to hear this. Gregg seemed like a good guy even if his umpiring wasn't the best. I think I remember reading that he suffered the most financially from the stupidity of the umpires union that advised all the umpires to resign. I hope he has the necessary insurance to pay for the medical bills.

BuckWoody
06-05-2006, 09:22 AM
Gregg always seemed like a great guy, if not a great umpire. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

saboforthird
06-05-2006, 03:02 PM
May God be with Eric.

KronoRed
06-05-2006, 03:20 PM
Sad news :(

realreds1
06-05-2006, 03:29 PM
I'm going to write about a great memory I have of Eric Gregg: although he struggled with weight problems, while umpiring, he had a great sense-of-humor. Remember when he left the cheeseburger on 3rd base? Then picked it up and ate a bite? :) I still love that memory.

Team Clark
06-05-2006, 06:19 PM
Gregg and Frank Pulli were my faves. A lot of style and HUGE strike zones.

Outshined_One
06-05-2006, 09:51 PM
Was just listening to the Cubs/Astros game on MLB.tv...he's passed away.

:(

reds1869
06-05-2006, 09:51 PM
Per several media outlets he has died. God bless him.

RFS62
06-05-2006, 10:39 PM
RIP big guy.

gilpdawg
06-06-2006, 12:28 AM
That's a shame. I remember when he came on Furball's show back in the 90s. He was a funny dude.

BoydsOfSummer
06-06-2006, 03:00 PM
Some of the few times I enjoyed Furman's show were when Gregg was on there. Funny personable fella.

KronoRed
06-06-2006, 05:28 PM
Rip