Second-base umpire Larry Vanover had to leave in the top of the fifth inning of the New York Yankees-Cleveland Guardians game Wednesday after he was hit near his head by a relay throw.
Guardians shortstop Andrés Giménez attempted to make a throw to home after a hit from Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka but ended up accidentally striking and knocking over Vanover. Fortunately, the umpire left the field under his own power.
Here’s another angle, in which it very clearly looks like the ball hit Vanover in the head.
Two runners scored for the Yankees, who drew within one run in the fifth, while Higashioka’s hit was ruled a single, and Giménez was charged with an error.
After the game, Vanover’s fellow umpire Chris Guccione told The Athletic’s Brendan Kuty that the crew chief was partially coherent after the play and didn’t know he had been hit with the baseball. Vanover reportedly had “a pretty good-sized knot” on his head and was undergoing tests at a nearby hospital.
Vanover, 67, is in his 33rd season as an MLB umpire.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone tossed for unrelated issue
Another umpire-related incident affected the game. Earlier in the contest, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected in the bottom of the first inning after he argued with the umpires when they overturned a catch by outfielder Aaron Hicks.
The call was initially ruled a catch and then a double-play to end the inning without a challenge by Guardians manager Terry Francona. Then the umpires decided to change the call and count the hit, and the run scored — both of which upset Boone enough for him to confront the umpires.