Major League baseball umpires went on strike Saturday and the league presidents said they were prepared to start the season today with non-union officials. The hiring of replacement umpires began Saturday as 12 nonunion officials were brought in to work exhibition games.

A joint statement issued by American League president Bobby Brown and National League president Bill White said contract talks ended after an "unacceptable ultimatum" Saturday morning by Richie Phillips, negotiator for the umpires.

Mr. Phillips' ultimatum was not revealed, and he was not immediately available for comment.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.