Pat Hoberg, a Des Moines native, is widely considered one of the best umpires in the game today. Calling a perfect game (balls/strikes, not an actual perfect game) in the World Series a couple of years ago, one would think he'd be a shoo-in for a long, healthy career, right? Not exactly.

Embroiled in controversy

Pat Hoberg has not called a game in 2024, and very well may not. Why? He's been accused of sports betting. While legal in states like Iowa, it's strictly forbidden for any athlete, official, or coach to gamble. Especially for an umpire, who has a say in how a game runs, and could impact the outcome.

So what is the 37-year-old ump, who's been in the league since 2014 and a full-time umpire since 2017, accused of exactly?

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers
Getty Images

According to a direct statement from MLB, Hoberg is accused of violating the league’s gambling rules. It is not believed any games he called were compromised, and it's worth noting Hoberg is appealing the ongoing suspension.

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While sports betting among active players and staff is strictly prohibited, Hoberg remains an Iowa resident, where he can legally bet on sports, so he does not face any legal penalties for his alleged actions.

It's unknown as of this writing how many games, or even which sport Hoberg is accused of betting on. Recently, a top San Diego Padres prospect, Tucupita Marcano, was given a severe lifetime ban from MLB. After an investigation, Marcono was found to have placed almost 400 sports bets, including 231 that were MLB-related.

As for Pat Hoberg, as a die-hard baseball fan, and someone who respects both his work, and the fact he's an Iowan, I hope his penalty is far less severe if he is found to be guilty of betting on sports.

As a side note, the Iowa native was the home plate umpire for the White Sox and Yankees Field of Dreams game in 2021.

Can't get away this summer? Enjoy one Iowans pictures from the Rocky Mountains!

An Iowan's Escape to the Rocky Mountains Pt. 1

Part 1 of 2 on a trip through various locations in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas. Ride through Thompson Canyon. Visit Gem Lake. Explore the Bear Lake area, including my favorite Dream Lake. See moose, elk, and much more.

Gallery Credit: Tom Drake

Giraffe Spotted in Iowa

Don't look now... but there's a long-necked creature living in an Iowa cornfield!

Gallery Credit: James Patrick


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