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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: 2019
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Posted By: Lava1964
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: 2913
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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: 25205
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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: 9250
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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: 1025
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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: 1442
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Posted By: Cliffy
Washington Senators Last Game - 1971 The Washington Senators' 71st and last season in the American League came to a sad and strange end on September 30, 1971. Some 14,000 disenchanted fans came to RFK stadium one last time to see the home team play the New York Yankees in a meaningless contest. Many brought along insulting and obscene banners denouncing team owner Bob Short who had announced the team was relocating to Texas for the 1972 season. Love was showered on the players, though. Even the most mediocre Senators were given hearty cheers when they first came to bat. The loudest ovation was saved for slugging fan favorite Frank Howard who responded with a home run. However, things began to turn ugly in the eighth inning just after the Senators had taken a 7-5 lead. Here's Shirley Povich's account of what happened as it appeared in the next day's Washington Post: "As if in sudden awareness that the end of major-league baseball in Washington was only one inning way, the mood hardened. 'We want Bob Short!' was the cry that picked up in loud and angry chorus, and it was the baying-fury sound of a lynch mob. Then a swarm of young kids, squirts who wouldn't know what it had meant to have a big-league team all these years, or what it would mean to lose one, flooded onto the field from all points of the stands. A public address announcement warned that the home team could forfeit the game unless the field was cleared, and pretty soon the game resumed. It got as far as two out in the ninth, the Senators' 7-5 lead intact, no Yankee on base, when one young rebel from the stands set off again. He grabbed first base and ran off with it. Some unbelievers, undaunted by the warning of forfeit, cheered, and from out of the stands poured hundreds, maybe a couple of thousand fans. They took over the infield, the outfield, grabbed off every base as a souvenir, tried to get the numbers and lights from the scoreboard or anything else removable, and by their numbers left police and the four umpires helpless to intervene. The mad scene on the field, with the athletes of both teams taking refuge in their dugouts, brought official announcement of Yankees 9, Senators 0, baseball's traditional forfeit count almost since Abner Doubleday notched the first baseball score on the handiest twig at Cooperstown. But by then the crowd-mood was philosophical, 'So what?' Or more accurately, 'So what the hell?' The Senators were finished, even if the ball game wasn't."
Tags: baseball  riot  1971  Washington  Senators 
Added: 16th January 2012
Views: 4296
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Posted By: Lava1964
Disco Demolition Night - 1979 Disco Demolition Night--one of baseball's most ill-conceived promotions--caused a rare MLB forfeit on July 12, 1979. It occurred at Chicago's Comiskey Park between games of a Thursday doubleheader between the hometown White Sox and visiting Detroit Tigers. Popular Chicago disc jockey Steve Dahl had been fired from radio station WDAI when he mentioned--on the air--that he listened to the album-oriented rock of rival station WLUP rather than his own station's fare--predominantly disco tunes. Dahl was subsequently hired by WLUP, known locally as "The Loop." The 1979 White Sox were a mediocre team struggling to attract decent crowds, so the team's management was willing to try anything to try to draw new fans. Dahl, in conjunction with Mike Veeck (son of then-White Sox owner Bill Veeck), devised a promotion: Anyone who brought a disco record to the ballpark would be admitted for just 98 cents. The records would be collected, placed in a large crate in center field, and blown up by Dahl between games. Dahl hyped the event on The Loop, hoping that 12,000 people might show up--double the typical Thursday attendance at Comiskey Park. The turnout exceeded all expectations. An estimated 90,000 people turned up at the 52,000-seat stadium. When the box office stopped selling tickets, thousands of people still got in by climbing over walls. It was an atypical baseball crowd to be sure. Broadcasters Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall commented on the "strange people" wandering throughout the stands. When the crate was filled with records, stadium staff stopped collecting them. The "fans" who still had records soon realized they were shaped like frisbees. A few began to throw records from the stands during the game. After the first game, a 4-1 Tigers' win, Dahl, clad in army fatigues and a helmet, proceeded to center field. The crate containing the records was rigged with explosives. Dahl led the crowd in chants of "Disco sucks!" prior to triggering the explosion. When detonated, the explosives tore a hole in the outfield grass and a small fire began burning. Dahl triumphantly circled the warning track in a jeep before leaving the field. Once Dahl left, the White Sox started warming up for the second game, but thousands of fans rushed the field. Some lit more fires. Others pulled down the batting cage and wrecked it. Bases were stolen and chunks of the outfield grass were ripped away. Most trespassers wandered around aimlessly, though a number of participants burned banners, sat on the grass, ran from security and police and threw records into the air. Veeck and Caray used the PA system to implore the fans to vacate the field, but to no avail. Eventually the field was cleared by police in riot gear. Six people reported minor injuries and 39 were arrested for disorderly conduct. The field was so badly torn up that the umpires decided the second game could not be played. The next day American League president Lee MacPhail forfeited the second game to the Tigers on the grounds that the White Sox had not provided acceptable playing conditions. For the rest of the season, fielders complained about Comiskey Park's playing surface being substandard. No AL game has been forfeited since that night.
Tags: baseball  riot  disco  Comiskey  Park 
Added: 30th January 2012
Views: 5557
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Posted By: Lava1964
Jim Joyce Blown Call Incident It was one of the strangest feel-good stories in sports history: On Wednesday, June 2, 2010, Detroit Tigers' pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out from pitching a rare perfect game. Cleveland Indians' batter Jason Donald hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield. First baseman Miguel Cabrera moved toward second base to field the ball. Galarraga ran from the pitcher's mound to cover first base. Cabrera's throw to Galarraga beat Donald to the bag by about three-quarters of a step--but Jim Joyce, a highly regarded 22-year MLB veteran umpire, incorrectly ruled Donald safe. Galarraga retired the next Indians' hitter for a 3-0 shutout win, but Joyce came under immediate fire for missing the call that cost Galarraga a perfect game. Death threats were sent to his family members in Oregon. MLB Security provided extra protection to Joyce and his umpiring crew. However, Joyce did a remarkable thing: he publicly and candidly acknowledged his error and tearfully apologized to Galarraga in the umpires' room. Galarraga handled the situation incredibly well, telling Joyce that "we're all human." The next afternoon, Joyce was working home plate. Tigers' manager Jim Leyland sent Galarraga to the plate to present the lineup card to a teary-eyed Joyce (see photo). The crowd loudly cheered both Joyce and Galarraga. The dynamics of the situation completely changed: Joyce was then widely hailed as a hero for owning up to his mistake. He received hundreds of letters and emails of support from people from all walks of life. When Joyce's umpiring crew arrived in Philadelphia for their next series, they were applauded at the airport.
Tags: umpire  baseball  Jim  Joyce  mistake 
Added: 8th October 2012
Views: 1159
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Posted By: Lava1964
Readers Digest August 1970 Issue Date: August 1970; Vol. 97, No. 580 Articles, subjects and contributors in this issue: COVER: Bicycle Byway by Ralph Avery. From Bach to Books by Jeffrey R. Haskell. The Crow and the Oriole by James Thurber. Boss of the Park -- Umpires -- by Bill Surface. The Plains a Boy a Summer Day by Hal Borland. 41 Ways to Beat the High Cost of Living. Russia's Menacing New Challenge in the Middle East by Joseph Alsop. We Need Our Young Activists by John D. Rockefeller 3rd. Portrait of a Mobster -- Carlos Marcello -- by William Schulz. Sexual Inadequacy -- And What Can Be Done About It by Will Bradbury. How to Talk With Your Teen Ager About Drugs by Herman W. Land. Toward a Livable Environment: I Victory in the Everglades by Jean George. II A Sensible Plan for Future Development by James Nathan Miller. The Car in the River by E. D. Fales Jr. Bold New Directions for U S High Schools by Arlene Silberman. Poverty at the Border by Lester Velie. Try Giving Yourself Away David Dunn. Japan -- All Asia Watches and Wonders by Carl T. Rowan. The Gifts of Gregory Menn by Joseph P. Blank. Better Living With Machinery by Charles McDowell Jr. L Dopa Has Set Me Free by Floyd Miller. Time to Knock Out the Vote Thieves! by Louis B. Nichols. Provocative; Prophetic Margaret Mead by David Dempsey. How to Murder Your Husband by Jean Mayer. Rugged Idaho by Don Wharton. They Go to Prison on Purpose Arthur Gordon. What the Moon Rocks Reveal by Fred Warshofsky. The Lesson of the Lemmings by Ola and Emily d'Aulaire. Bottoms Up! by Jack Goodman and Alan Green. The Duel That Changed Our History by Thomas Fleming. Paper Magic of Origami by and Akira Yoshizawa by Leland Stowe. KGB: The Swallows' Nest "KGB" by John Barron.
Tags: Readers  Digest  August  1970  articles  magazine   
Added: 26th December 2014
Views: 2171
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Posted By: Cathy

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