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Passings : Cece Carlucci

Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame umpire

September 21, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Cece Carlucci, 90, a longtime minor league umpire who is the only umpire enshrined in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame, died Wednesday at his home in the Riverside County community of Wildomar.

Carlucci had been in failing health since May, said Dick Beverage, a friend and executive director of the Hall of Fame selection committee.

After more than a decade working baseball games in the Pacific Coast League, Carlucci gave up on reaching the majors. He went on to a long career manufacturing custom gear for baseball umpires.

"He knew the rule book better than anybody I ever met," Beverage said last week. "He was a world-class expert."

Cesare Carlucci was born Dec. 30, 1917, and grew up in Bell. He wanted to play baseball professionally, but after serving in Alaska in World War II, he felt he was too old to play. He began umpiring games, working his way up from winter league games in Mexico to the California league and finally to the Pacific Coast League in 1950.

Carlucci is remembered by many for his role as crew chief and plate umpire at a Los Angeles Angels-Hollywood Stars game at old Gilmore Field on Aug. 2, 1953. A brawl erupted between the teams, and more than 50 Los Angeles police officers were sent to the stadium to break it up.

Carlucci left the PCL after the 1961 season but continued to work games in Latin America before turning his attention to his umpire equipment business.

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