- Spent 24 years as a National League umpire before retiring in 1973.
- Umpired in five World Series and four Major League All-Star games.
- Helped found the Major League Umpires Association in 1964.
- In the fourth game of the 1957 Series between the Milwaukee Braves and the New York Yankees, Donatelli awarded the Braves’ Nippy Jones first base after ruling that Jones had been hit on the foot by a pitch. Donatelli retrieved the ball and found shoe polish on it. An argument ensued, but Donatelli would not change his call. Milwaukee beat the Yankees in seven games.
- In the 1973 Series, also in Game 4, Donatelli called New York Mets legend Willie Mays out at the plate, leading to an animated argument. The Oakland Athletics went on to win the Series.