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Urbandale umpire Pat Hoberg punished by Major League Baseball

Iowa native Pat Hoberg has been disciplined by Major League Baseball for allegedly violating its gambling policy.

Hoberg, one of the most respected umpires in MLB, was removed from the field following the results of a sports betting investigation launched by the league during spring training. He has not played a game yet this season.

“During this year’s Spring Training, Major League Baseball initiated an investigation into a possible violation of MLB’s sports betting policy by umpire Pat Hoberg,” MLB said in a statement to the Register on Friday evening. “Mr. Hoberg was removed from the field while that investigation was ongoing. Although MLB’s investigation found no evidence that games created by Mr. Hoberg had been compromised or manipulated in any way, MLB determined that discipline was warranted .Mr. Hoberg has chosen to appeal this decision. Therefore, we cannot comment further until the appeal process has been completed.”

Hoberg, a graduate of Urbandale High School and Grand View University in Des Moines, made his big league debut in 2014. The 37-year-old consistently ranks as one of the best ball/strike umpires in the sport. He was behind the plate for Game 2 of the 2022 World Series and called a perfect game with 129 of 129 pitches taken being called correctly.

Hoberg was also behind the plate for MLB’s first game on the film site “Field of Dreams” in 2021 between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees.

Players from across the majors have raved about Hoberg’s professionalism on the field, including stars Bryce Harper and Ian Happ.

Hoberg released a statement through the Major League Baseball Umpires Association.

“I appeal to Major League Baseball’s determination that I be punished for violating its sports betting policy,” Hoberg said. “While that appeal is pending, it would not be appropriate to discuss the matter. That said, I have dedicated my adult life to the umpiring profession, and the integrity of baseball is of the utmost importance to me.

“I look forward to the appeal process and am grateful that the Major League Baseball Umpires Association is supporting me in the appeal.”

USA Today’s Gabe Lacques contributed to this report.