Tom Hallion, a Saugerties native and SHS Class of 1974 alum, has been selected as plate umpire and crew chief for the Major League Baseball All Star Game on Tuesday, July 13. The game will be held at Coors Field in Denver, home of the Colorado Rockies.
Hallion is a 28-year MLB veteran, working 1985 through 1999 seasons with the National League exclusively, and, after several years out of baseball, returned to the profession in 2005 to officiate both the National and American leagues.
After graduating from the University of Buffalo, Hallion’s umpiring career began in 1979 with a year spent in the New York – Penn League. He moved on to work the Carolina League for the 1980 and 1981 seasons, then worked the Eastern League (1982) and American Association (1983-1985) before making the jump to the bigs.
Hallion has has worked the Division Series (1996-97, 2008, 2012-14, 2016, 2018-19), the League Championship Series (1998, 2007, 2009-11), the 2008 World Series and the All-Star Game (1992, 2008). He served as a Replay Official in the 2017 Division Series, and umpired the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, working behind the plate for the finals between Japan and Cuba. He also worked the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Joining Hallion in Denver are CB Bucknor (first base), Chris Guccione (second base), Lance Barrett (third base), David Rackley (left field) and Adam Hamari (right field).
Hallion studied engineering at the University of Buffalo, but his career path was set out for him during a summer break when local sports legend Jack Keeley offered him a job umpiring softball games with the Saugerties Athletic Association. Hallion liked the experience so much, he began looking into how to make it an actual career. At Keeley’s recommendation, Hallion attended a two-week program at the Bill Kinnaman Umpiring School, finishing among the top five in his class.
“I’m very fortunate,” Hallion said in a 2010 interview with Saugerties Times. “I’m very lucky. I’m very blessed that I’m doing something I absolutely enjoy. I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world.”
Hallion was also a 2009 inductee into the Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame.
“Saugerties is a part of me that will never go away,” Hallion said. “There’s always going to be a special part in my heart, and really my family’s heart, for Saugerties. When you come from a small town like that where you now a lot of people, it never really goes away.”