Umpires play a mighty part in the affairs of baseball, and down through the years some have come along who, because of their ability or their picturesque ways, have joined the unforgettables of the sport.
Included are Tim Hurst, baseball umpire, prize fight referee and master of repartee in an earlier era in baseball; Henry (Hank) O’Day, who quit umpiring to manage a ball club, and then quit that job to go back to umpiring; Bill Dinneen, a former big league pitcher; Charlie Rigler (Rigler the Great); Bob Emslie, who umpired from 1891 to 1929 in the National League-38 years-and Tom Connolly, who umpired about 35 years in the American.
A thousand and one tales have been written about Bill Klem, of the sharp and ready tongue, who became a big league umpire soon after the end of the Spanish-American war and ceased field duty in the late 1940’s.
Billy Evans, a Cornell graduate, took up umpiring many years ago and revolutionized the profession. He was young and vigorous, and it was his custom to run with the play, whenever possible, and make his decision at the point where the play was made, in contrast with the old method of calling decisions on bases from a rigid position. Evans quit the field to take up club general management. A.D. (Dolly) Stark, in and out of the National League, also was a youngster when he broke in and carried on the tradition of Evans, with a few inventions of his own, and managed to be on top of the plays when they happened.
Also there have been George Moriarty, once a third baseman, who wrote poetry; George Hildebrand; Charlie Moran, who taught football when not umpiring; John (Beans) Reardon; Ernie Quigley, and Cal Hubbard, who was a football star.
Jack Sheridan was one of the great umpires of an earlier day; so was the picturesque “Silk” O’Loughlin. Bill Byron was known as the “Humming Bird” because he would break into song when players protested decisions. W.A. McGowan, Roy Van Graflan, R.F. Nallin, R.A. (Babe) Pinelli, E.T. (Red) Ormsby and Harry Geisel are others of enduring fame.
John K. Tener, who later became National League president, Governor of Pennsylvania and a United States Senator, also served a stint as a big league umpire.