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Richie Phillips

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Richie Phillips

Richie Phillips

Richard G. Phillips (born c. 1940; died May 31, 2013)[1][2] was the former general counsel and executive director of the 52-member Major League Umpires Association (MLUA), having held those positions from 1978 to 2000. He is most notable for recommending that the union baseball umpires resign en masse effective September 2, 1999 to leverage enhanced benefits for union umpires. This decision ultimately turned out to be devastating to the umpires, as Major League Baseball accepted most of their resignations, terminating their employment and promoting replacement umpires from the minor leagues. The umpires later voted to decertify the union, replacing it with the World Umpires Association. He had also served in the same positions for the National Association of Basketball Referees.

He was born in homicide division until around 1971.[4]

Phillips' law office was located in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.[5][6] He represented the Transport Workers Union and handled legal matters for the top brass of the Carpenters Union.[6] He also represented about 30 athletes, which he maintained did not present any conflict of interest with his duties relating to the officials.

In 1964, he married Ellen Harrell. They had four children.[4] He died of cardiac arrest at his home in Cape May, New Jersey at age 72 on May 31, 2013.[3]

See also

1999 Major League Umpires Association mass resignation


  1. ^ Sports, The. "Former umpires union chief Phillips dies - Yahoo! Sports". Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  2. ^ "Richie Phillips, former head of MLB umpires' union, has died - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN". Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  3. ^ a b Martin, Douglas. "Richie Phillips, Union Leader Who Helped and Hurt Umpires, Dies at 72", The New York Times, June 4, 2013. Accessed October 5, 2013. " Richie Phillips, a boisterous, street-shrewd lawyer who quintupled the salaries of major league baseball umpires as their union representative, then caused many of them to lose their jobs by having them resign en masse, died Friday at his home in Cape May, N.J. He was 72. The cause was cardiac arrest, his family said."
  4. ^ a b c Cook, Bonnie L. "Richie Phillips, 72, former umpires union chief dies", The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 5, 2013. Accessed October 5, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Richard G. Phillips, Accessed October 5, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Richard G. Phillips Associates, P.C. Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania Office Profile, Martindale-Hubbell. Accessed October 5, 2013.

External links

  • CNN/SI: "Richie's Gang" - 1999 article by Frank Deford
  • magazine - 1979 interviewReferee
  • magazine: "Hindsight and History"Referee
  • CNN/SI: "Not even close" - 1999 article on dissolution of MLUA
  • Society for American Baseball Research - Doug Pappas, "22 Men Out" - 1999 analysis of the umpires' ill-fated mass resignation.
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