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Multiple Years / Balloon-Style Chest Protectors
Baseball umpires wore variations of the outside chest protector for about 80 years. In the major leagues, National League umpires made the transistion to inside protectors several years before their American League counterparts. The result was that NL umps generally called lower strikes because they tended to squat lower behind the catcher. After 1977, the American League mandated that all new arbiters wear inside protectors, but veteran umps could retain their balloons. The last umpire in the big leagues to wear an outside protector was Jerry Neudecker. He retired after the 1985 season.