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Umpire Bill Klem 'I never called one wrong!' Bill Klem once immodestly told a reporter. Klem is still widely regarded as baseball's greatest umpire nearly 70 years after he last worked a game. He was a National League arbiter from 1906 through 1941. The innovative Klem (pictured here in 1914) was the first umpire to wear an inside chest protector and the first to use hand signals to keep fans and players informed about his calls. (Klem said, 'The fan in the 25-cent bleacher seat has just as much right to know what I called as the fan in the box seat near home plate.') Klem was so skilled at calling balls and strikes that he only worked behind the plate for a number of years. He worked 18 World Series--a record that will never be broken because MLB now uses a rotation system rather than a merit system to assign umpires to post-season games. Klem was affectionately called 'The Old Arbitrator'--a nickname he adored. The jowly and thick-lipped Klem hated the nickname 'Catfish.' Any player who addressed him that way was quickly ejected. He had a strange relationship with New York Giants' manager John McGraw. Off the field the two were good friends; on the field they feuded bitterly. My favorite Bill Klem story: In 1941, while working the bases, he called a runner out on a tag play at second base. The runner angrily insisted the tag had missed him. Klem informed the irate player, 'I thought you were out.' Then the realization hit him: For the first time in his long career Klem only thought a player was out--he wasn't certain. Klem resigned the next day.
Tags: baseball  umpire  Bill  Klem 
Added: 1st September 2009
Views: 1489
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Posted By: Lava1964
Featured Member- Lava1964 I was born in a small Canadian city in 1964. I am unmarried. Miss Right has not yet come along. I'm beginning to think she never will. As a kid, I loved acquiring knowledge on a variety of topics, hence my love of trivia. My father got me interested in history by making me watch documentaries when I was eight years old. I am truly grateful he did this. I developed my own passion for sports history. My favorite sports are baseball, boxing, tennis, hockey, football, and soccer. Baseball is far and away my favorite. I live and die with the exploits of the Boston Red Sox. (I was a Red Sox fan long before it became fashionable.) I played fastpitch softball as a kid when that was a popular pastime in Canada. I was a second baseman: Good glove, weak arm, decent contact hitter, not much power. I normally batted second. I have been a softball umpire since 1978. Last time I counted, I had worked over 2,300 games. I've always loved words and the English language. Its possibilities are truly limitless. I modestly say I am a writer of some repute. I began writing pieces for sports encyclopedias at age 19 and really haven't stopped penning sports articles since then. I used to write a weekly sports nostalgia column for a local newspaper. I allegedly had half a million readers at one time. (My column ran for five years before a dim-witted editor took over the sports department and dismissed all the freelance columnists and replaced them with hand-picked toadies. Accordingly, I have put a curse on him and his family. I've had three books on baseball history published. All have received kind reviews. I still write the occasional piece for nostalgia publications. If anyone is really interested in my stuff, I sell collections of my columns on demand. My books are available through mail order from my publisher in North Carolina. I am a tournament Scrabble player and official. I have an expert rating (which I am quite proud of) and I'm usually ranked in the top 40 in Canada. I help run a local club and local tourneys, and, for some reason, I am much in demand to officiate and organize tournaments in many places. Scrabble has allowed me to travel to Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix, New Orleans, and this summer...Orlando. It's nice work if you can get it. It must be my aptitude for organization which I acquired from both my parents. Scrabble is quite a diverse and odd subculture. Nevertheless, my best friends are Scrabble players. The game helps me retain what is left of my sanity. Along those same lines, I enjoy all competitive endeavors. I always play to win. This is why I love game shows too, I suppose. Occasionally I do real jobs too. I've been a private tutor since 1994. My students think I'm brilliant. I always try to live up to their expectations. I think I have a good sense of humor. It's a hybrid of American and British mirth. I especially love puns. I am cuddly.
Tags: Featured  Member-  Lava1964 
Added: 1st May 2008
Views: 1284
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Posted By: Steve
Umpire Ed Hurley on Whats My Line American League baseball umpire Ed Hurley appeared as a challenger on What's My Line in this episode from October 4, 1953. In the early days of What's My Line, the panelists were each permitted a 'free guess' as to what the contestant's occupation was. Even though Hurley signed in with the alias 'John Doe,' Dorothy Kilgallen correctly guessed Hurley's job. (Hurley relates a funny story about an incident that occurred that day in the fifth game of the World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees.)
Tags: Ed  Hurley  baseball  umpire  Whats  My  Line 
Added: 10th May 2008
Views: 3318
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Posted By: Lava1964
Rookie Umpire  80s Budweiser Commercial Tags: Rookie  Umpire    80s  Budweiser  Commercial 
Added: 25th January 2008
Views: 12917
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Posted By: Cliffy
Ten-Cent Beer Night Riot On June 4, 1974 the Cleveland Indians held the most short-sighted promotion in pro sports history: Ten-Cent Beer Night. There was no limit to the amount of 10-ounce Stroh's beers one could buy for a dime each. Hey, what could possibly go wrong? The promotion drew a crowd of 25,000 people--about three times what the Indians were usually drawing in 1974. The souses chugged down more than 65,000 cups of beer. The effects of the discount brews caused rowdyism to break out in the stands from the get-go. It eventually spread to the field. Among the lowlights: Fans tossed firecrackers at the Rangers players. A naked man ran onto the field and slid into second base. A father and son duo ran onto the field and mooned the crowd. The climax occurred in the bottom of the ninth inning. A fan entered the field and tried to swipe Jeff Burroughs' glove. When he resisted, punches were exchanged and more fans entered the field to join the frey. Both the Rangers and the Indians came out of their dugouts wielding bats to defend Burroughs. Mayhem ensued. Fans ripped chairs from the stadium and tossed them in all directions. The game was abandoned by the umpires with the score tied 5-5. The visiting Texas Rangers were awarded a forfeit win. The Indians had several more discount beer promotions scheduled--and still intended to hold them--but the American League outlawed them.
Tags: Ten  Cent  Beer  Night  Cleveland  baseball 
Added: 4th June 2008
Views: 2408
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Posted By: Lava1964
Umpire John McSherry Dies During Game On April 1, 1996, the Cincinnati Reds opened the Major League Baseball season by hosting the Montreal Expos. Seven pitches into the game, 51-year-old umpire John McSherry staggered away from home plate on unsteady legs and collapsed face-first to the ground. He likely died immediately of a massive heart attack, but he was officially pronounced dead an hour later. Another umpire, Tom Hallion, accompanied McSherry to a Cincinnati hospital. The remaining two umpires, after consulting with the Reds and Expos, decided to postpone the game. The decision did not sit well with outspoken Reds' owner Marge Schott who was unhappy about having to issue rainchecks to the 50,000 spectators. (She later sent flowers to McSherry's funeral, but reports claimed they were second-hand flowers she herself had received on Opening Day from a local TV station.) McSherry, who tipped the scales at over 300 pounds, was a stereotypical out-of-shape MLB umpire. Beginning in 1997, MLB insisted on tough new physical fitness standards for its arbiters.
Tags: death  John  McSherry  baseball  umpire 
Added: 26th June 2008
Views: 24229
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ron Luciano Remember flamboyant American League baseball umpire Ron Luciano? During the 1970s he was the sport's most colorful arbiter. To relieve the tedium during dull games, Luciano would call runners out by pumping his fist numerous times. He would chat and joke with players, pat them on the back when they did well, and engage in bits of mischief. He had a long-running feud with Baltimore Orioles' manager Earl Weaver, whom he once ejected from both ends of a doubleheader. When Luciano quit umpiring to become a baseball broadcaster for NBC in 1980, Weaver said, 'I hope he takes this job more seriously than he took his last one.' Luciano authored five books of baseball anecdotes that were well received. So it came as a shock to the baseball community when the good-natured and well-liked Luciano inexplicably took hs own life in January 1995 at his home in Endicott, NY. He was 57. He left a suicide note containing detailed funeral instructions, but gave no reason for why he had decided to kill himself.
Tags: Ron  Luciano 
Added: 21st July 2008
Views: 2350
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Posted By: Lava1964
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.
Tags: umpires  balloon  chest  protector 
Added: 13th August 2009
Views: 7550
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Posted By: Lava1964
Name This Umpire You folks are pretty good at identifying major league baseball players. How are you at identifying major league umpires? Can you name this famous arbiter. Two hints: His nickname was 'God' and he is at the top of many people's lists of those who should be enshrined in Cooperstown but isn't.
Tags: name  this  umpire 
Added: 1st September 2009
Views: 775
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Posted By: Lava1964
Raymond Johnson Chapman Grave Raymond Johnson Chapman (January 15, 1891 August 17, 1920) was an American baseball player, spending his entire career as a shortstop for Cleveland. He is the second of only two Major League Baseball players to have died as a result of an injury received in a game. Chapman was hit in the head by a pitch thrown by Yankees pitcher Carl Mays. His death led Major League Baseball to establish a rule requiring umpires to replace the ball whenever it became dirty. His death was partially the reason MLB banned the spitball after the season.
Tags: Raymond  Johnson  Chapman  Grave  baseball  player    Yankees  pitcher  Carl  Mays  shortstop  for  Cleveland  spitball 
Added: 31st October 2009
Views: 1116
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Posted By: Cliffy

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