Despite having the nickname “Balkin” Bob Davidson, the newly retired umpire has quite the list of accomplishments in his 30 years with the MLB. With three All-Star games, three League Championship Series, three Division Series and one World Series under his belt, he has quite the experience. He joined Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro during Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports Radio to discuss his career as well as the changes MLB is trying to make to speed up the game.

Davidson was given his nickname by the late Skip Caray, the long-time Atlanta Braves broadcaster, following a multiple-game stretch in which Davidson was the umpire for all of the Braves’ matchups. He doesn’t feel his calls as an umpire merited such a name.

“We had a couple balks, a couple I called, a couple I got blamed for that I didn’t,” said Davidson. “He just came up with it the next day, and that nickname stuck.”

The nickname was so well-known that a boy who was taking Davidson’s daughter out called him “Balkin” Bob upon meeting him. The nickname isn’t the only thing Davidson won’t miss now that his time as an umpire is over.

“I’m certainly not going to miss the travel. I’m not gonna miss the league office,” Davidson said jokingly.

Although there were many facets of the job he won’t miss, there is one aspect in particular he will. Davidson knows many fans and players alike were angered at some calls he made throughout the years, but that never changed the enjoyment he got out of the thought that goes into making a call, regardless of if it was correct or not.

“I’m gonna miss the challenge of the game and being right,” said Davidson.

Davidson also enjoyed the challenge that the addition of replay brought to calling professional games. Although it slows down games at times, it has been instrumental and sometimes the deciding factor in many close games. 

“We kinda made a game out of it on the field. We tried not to go to replay.” 

As mentioned previously, despite its effectiveness, replay has come under some heat due to the way it lengthens games. It doesn’t help that baseball is already a slower-paced game, but Davidson feels there are improvements that could be implemented to speed up the replay process.

“I think the fact the teams are waiting for their replay guy to make a determination whether they should challenge a call or not, to me that kills a lot of time.”

Listen to the full interview with Bob Davidson, including his thoughts on the Colorado Avalanche (that’s right), in the podcast below.

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Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.