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Umpire released from hospital
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06/01/2002 7:20 PM ET
Umpire released from hospital
Steve Rippley suffered slight fracture when hit by pitch
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Home plate umpire Steve Rippley is attended to after being hit in the head by a pitch on Friday. (SteveNesius/AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Umpire Steve Rippley, who was forced to leave Friday night's game at Tropicana Field after being hit by a pitch, will spend the next 10 days recuperating at his home in Ft. Lauderdale. He suffered a slight fracture between his left temple and cheekbone.

Rippley, 48, was given Saturday and Sunday off and had already been scheduled to be off next week. Kevin Kelley, a minor league umpire, replaced Rippley for the final two games of the A's-Devil Rays series.

In the sixth inning of Friday night's 13-9 Oakland victory, Rays reliever Lee Gardner hit Adam Piatt in the left shoulder. The ball glanced off Piatt and hit Rippley as he turned his head. Rippley immediately fell to the ground and was checked out by members of the Rays' medical staff. He was carted off the field and taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg for further testing.

Rippley, who has been a Major League umpire since 1984, was released from the hospital at 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning. No surgery was required.

Damon P. Young is an editorial producer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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