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Monday, May 31, 2021

A.J. Lostaglio has used his immediate judgment over more than three decades as umpire in minors, college

A student at the Joe Brinkman Umpire School in Florida in 1988, A.J. Lostaglio explained to The New York Times Magazine why the vocation appealed to him.

I like to feel that I'm part of the game," Lostaglio told The Times then. "I like the fact that immediate judgment is required. But what I like most is the authority."

Lostaglio has gone on from the Brinkman school to use his judgment over a long career as an umpire, first in the minors and then in college.

Shortly after the Brinkman school, Lostaglio found himself traveling the New York-Penn League, where he looks to have umpired an early-season game at Pittsfield. That appears to be him on the right of Jim Eschen's Pittsfield card. (Why that appears to be so.)

That August 1990, he tossed Geneva's manager after the skipper argued nose-to-nose over an overturned hit-by-pitch.

He returned to the New York-Penn League for 1991, tossing a Geneva pitcher that August after the pitcher hitting a batter with a pitch. 

He worked in independent ball in 1995. Then, in February 1996, he was in college, working a Miami-Florida game

In May 1997, Lostaglio worked an NCAA regional game between North Carolina State and Alabama. He called a drive down the line fair that North Carolina State's coach Elliott Avent thought might have been foul, according to The Raleigh News and Observer.

"It was a tough call," Avent told The News and Observer afterward. "A.J.'s a great umpire, and he busted his butt getting down the line (to make the call), so I can live with it." 

Lostaglio has continued in college and in the SEC in the years since. In 2005, he was umpiring in the College World Series. In May 2012 while umpiring a game, he took a ball off his wrist, fracturing it. 

Lostaglio continues umpiring in 2021. He umpired a February 2021 double-header between Arizona State and Hawaii at Arizona State.
1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,662
Made the Majors:1,252-34.2%
Never Made Majors:2,410-65.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:308

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