After surgery, his doctor told him that it was unlikely that he would walk again. He rejected the prognosis, hoping that he would return to umpiring.
After three months of rehabilitation, he used crutches and leg braces to walk onto the field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, where he threw out the first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series.
“If I wanted to get out of this game, that would be one thing,” he said that day, adding, “But for somebody to take it away from me like this doesn’t feel right.” And, he told The St. Paul Pioneer Press, “I’m looking forward to being booed again.”
He never umpired again, but he would eventually walk with only a cane. “He was in chronic pain for 26 years, but he hid it well,” his wife, who married him five months before the shooting, said in an interview.
He was hired in 1994 by Major League Baseball as special assistant to Bud Selig, chairman of the Major League Executive Council (his title before he was elected commissioner), for which he studied the length of games, still a vexing problem for the sport. He also worked part time as an analyst for MSG Network on Yankees games from 1995 to 1997.
In 2000, M.L.B. hired him as an umpire supervisor, a position he held until his death.
Stephen Michael Palermo was born in Worcester, Mass., on Oct. 9, 1949. His father, Vincent, was an elementary school principal, and his mother, the former Angela Gentile, was a homemaker.
He earned money umpiring local games while attending high school and college. One day while officiating a Little League all-star game when he was 19 or 20, he was noticed by Barney Deary, administrator of M.L.B.’s umpire development program.
His entrance into baseball’s umpiring school in Florida at 21 ended a college career during which he had studied education at…