MLB Umpire Hoberg Punished for Gambling, Appeal in Works

  • Pat Hoberg is a well-respected Major League Baseball umpire, who received a perfect score in a 2022 World Series game.
  • Hoberg was investigated and disciplined by MLB for violating the league’s gambling rules, although it wasn’t revealed what the umpire had done wrong.
  • Hoberg is preparing an appeal for his case, while MLB is holding him out of games until that.

While many major sports leagues have been embraced gambling and working with online sportsbooks, it hasn’t been a smooth transition. There have been a few cases of gambling misconduct, notably in Major League Baseball and the NBA. MLB has another case on their hands.

On June 14, reputable umpire Pat Hoberg was disciplined by the league, according to The Athletic, for violating MLB’s gambling protocols. Hoberg is going to appeal the ruling, but MLB is holding him out of games until the appeal has been concluded.

Hoberg Claiming Innocence, Last Umpired in 2023 Postseason

The Athletic’s story states that Hoberg was taken out of a Spring Training game as MLB had begun their investigation into the claims against the umpire. In a statement, MLB said:

"During this year's Spring Training, Major League Baseball commenced an investigation regarding a potential violation of MLB's sports betting policies by Umpire Pat Hoberg. Mr. Hoberg was removed from the field during the pendency of that investigation. While MLB's investigation did not find any evidence that games worked by Mr. Hoberg were compromised or manipulated in any way, MLB determined that discipline was warranted. Mr. Hoberg has chosen to appeal that determination. Therefore, we cannot comment further until the appeal process is concluded."

Hoberg, who hasn’t umpired since the 2023 postseason, responded with his statement:

"I am appealing Major League Baseball's determination that I should be disciplined for violating the sports betting policies. While that appeal is pending, it would not be appropriate to discuss the case. That said, I have devoted my adult life to the profession of umpiring, and the integrity of baseball is of the utmost importance to me. I look forward to the appeal process, and I am grateful that the Major League Baseball Umpires Association is supporting me in the appeal.''

The investigation comes as a major surprise. Hoberg is one of the most respected umpires in the league. is a website that tracks the performance of MLB umpires, and it gave Hoberg a perfect score in a 2022 World Series game.

Hoberg obviously takes offense to these allegations. The league still hasn’t revealed what the umpire is actually being accused of. MLB is holding Hoberg out of games until the appeal process has taken place, but given MLB’s issues with gambling, it could take a while. Both sides will want to get this right.

Hoberg Case Another in a Long Line of Gambling Misconduct Incidents

Ahead of the 2024 MLB season, Los Angeles Dodgers’ superstar, Shohei Ohtani, was investigated for gambling. It turns out that it was his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, was actually stealing from Ohtani’s bank account. Mizuhara pled guilty to tax evasion and bank fraud. He is facing up to 33 years in prison when he is sentenced on October 25.

On June 4, Tucupita Marcano of the San Diego Padres was banned for life from baseball when he was found guilty by MLB of betting on his team. Four other players were suspended for a year.

In the NBA, Jontay Porter of the Toronto Raptors received a lifetime ban for prop bets in Toronto games. Porter would claim that he was feeling ill after playing just three minutes of a game, while a ton of money was coming in on Under props for Porter at NBA betting sites.

All the leagues are going to keep a close eye on this situation. As the relationship between the major leagues and sportsbooks grows, there is a good chance that this will happen again.

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About the Author
Finn Archer profile picture
Finn Archer
Finn is an experienced writer (having published articles under the name Phil Bowman) and longtime sports enthusiast based in Europe. His particular passion lies in soccer, as both a die-hard fan and seasoned bettor. That said, he’ll dabble in anything involving a ball, bat, or boxing gloves! He’s learned from his share of bad bets over the years and is keen to impart his wisdom so you don’t make the same mistakes. Since joining TSG, Finn has also gained valuable knowledge in the world of online casinos.

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