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Wednesday, April 15

Continuation of Strike Zone Time line................. 

1988 - "The Strike Zone is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the top of the knees. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball."

1969 - "The Strike Zone is that space over home plate which is between the batter's armpits and the top of his knees when he assumes a natural stance. The umpire shall determine the Strike Zone according to the batter's usual stance when he swings at a pitch."

1963 - "The Strike Zone is that space over home plate which is between the top of the batter's shoulders and his knees when he assumes his natural stance. The umpire shall determine the Strike Zone according to the batter's usual stance when he swings at a pitch."

1957 - "A strike is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire which (a) is struck at by the batter and is missed; (b) enters the Strike Zone in flight and is not struck at; (c) is fouled by the batter when he has less than two strikes at it; (d) is bunted foul; (e) touches the batter as he strikes at it; (f) touches the batter in flight in the Strike Zone; or (g) becomes a foul tip. Note: (f) was added to the former rule and definition."

1950 - "The Strike Zone is that space over home plate which is between the batter's armpits and the top of his knees when he assumes his natural stance."

1910 - "With the bases unoccupied, any ball delivered by the pitcher while either foot is not in contact with the pitcher's plate shall be called a ball by the umpire."

1907 - "A fairly delivered ball is a ball pitched or thrown to the bat by the pitcher while standing in his position and facing the batsman that passes over any portion of the home base, before touching the ground, not lower than the batsman's knee, nor higher than his shoulder. For every such fairly delivered ball, the umpire shall call one strike.
"An unfairly delivered ball is a ball delivered to the bat by the pitcher while standing in his position and facing the batsman that does not pass over any portion of the home base between the batsman's shoulder and knees, or that touches the ground before passing home base, unless struck at by the batsman. For every unfairly delivered ball the umpire shall call one ball."

1901 - "A foul hit ball not caught on the fly is a strike unless two strikes have already been called." (NOTE: Adopted by National League in 1901; American League in 1903)

 1899 - "A foul tip by the batter, caught by the catcher while standing within the lines of his position is a strike."

1894 - "A strike is called when the batter makes a foul hit, other than a foul tip, while attempting a bunt hit that falls or rolls upon foul ground between home base and first or third bases."

1887 - "The batter can no longer call for a 'high' or 'low' pitch.
"A (strike) is defined as a pitch that 'passes over home plate not lower than the batsman's knee, nor higher than his shoulders.'"

1876 - "The batsman, on taking his position, must call for a 'high,' 'low,' or 'fair' pitch, and the umpire shall notify the pitcher to deliver the ball as required; such a call cannot be changed after the first pitch is delivered."
High - pitches over the plate between the batter's waist and shoulders
Low - pitches over the plate between the batter's waist and at least one foot from the ground.
Fair - pitches over the plate between the batter's shoulders and at least one foot from the ground

Wednesday, April 15

Continuation of Umpire Time Line........................... 

1879 - National League president William A. Hulbert appointed a group of 20 men from which teams could choose an umpire, therefore becoming baseball's first umpiring staff.

1879 - Umpires were given the authority to impose fines for illegal acts.

1882 - National League umpire Richard Higham became the only major league umpire ever expelled from the game after the League judged him guilty of collusion with gamblers.

1885 - Umpires began wearing chest protectors for the first time.

1901 - Thomas Connolly umpired the first game in the American League between Cleveland and Chicago on April 24.

1903 - Hank O'Day and Thomas Connolly worked the first modern World Series between the Boston Pilgrims and Pittsburgh Pirates.

1906 - William Evans, at 22 years old, became the youngest umpire in major league history.

1909 - The four-umpire system was employed for the first time in the World Series.

1910 - The umpire organizational chart was established. The plate umpire was appointed the umpire-in-chief and the others were field umpires.

1910 - Chicago Cubs manager Frank Chance became the first person ejected from a World Series game when umpire Thomas Connolly threw him out for protesting a home run call.

1911 - Bill Dinneen worked as an umpire in the World Series and became the first person to play and umpire in the Fall Classic. Dinneen played for the Boston Pilgrims in the 1903 Series.

1912 - Both the American and National Leagues had 10 person umpiring staffs with two umpires being used in games and two reserves.

1921 - Umpires in both leagues began the practice of rubbing mud into the balls prior to each game in order to remove the gloss.

1933 - Bill Dinneen, Bill Klem, Bill McGowan and Cy Rigler umpired the first All-Star Game at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

1935 - George Barr of the National League opened the first umpire training school in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

1939 - The Bill McGowan School for Umpires opened.

1941 - Bill Klem, the oldest umpire in major league history at 68, retired from umpiring after working a record 37 seasons and became the National League's first modern chief of umpires.

1946 - Bill McKinley became the first graduate of an umpiring training school to reach the major leagues.

1947 - In the 1947 World Series, featuring the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees, the current six-man crew was established as an alternate umpire was stationed along each foul line.

1950 - Umpires were no longer allowed to levy fines for illegal acts as that was to be handled by each League president.

1951 - Emmett Ashford became an umpire in the Southwestern International League and became the first black professional umpire.

1952 - The four-man umpiring crew was instituted for all regular season games.

1953 - Thomas Connolly and Bill Klem became the first umpires inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

1956 - Ed Rommel and Frank Umont broke a long-standing taboo by becoming the first umpires to wear eyeglasses on the field.

1966 - Emmett Ashford became the first black umpire in the major leagues when he reached the American League after 14 seasons in the minor leagues.

1970 - The first strike by umpires in major league history lasted one day during the League Championship Series. This action prompted both the American and National League presidents to recognize the newly-formed Major League Umpires Association and negotiate a labor contract with them.

1972 - Bernice Gera became the first woman to umpire a professional baseball game when she worked a Class A New York-Penn League game.

1973 - Art Williams became the first black umpire to reach the National League staff.

1974 - Armando Rodriguez became the first Hispanic umpire to work in the major leagues as he joined the American League staff.

1979 - Major league umpires went on strike for the third time in history from Opening Day until May 18. Replacement umpires were used during this strike.

1991 - Steve Palermo, an American League umpire, suffered a career-ending gunshot wound while attempting to prevent the robbery of two women.

1996 - National League umpire John McSherry collapsed during an Opening Day game in Cincinnati and passed away after being rushed to a nearby hospital.

1997 - Mike DiMuro became the first American umpire to work a regular season game in the Japanese Leagues.

1998 - Harry and Hunter Wendelstedt became the first father-son umpire combination to work a major league game together.

2000 - On February 24, the World Umpires Association ("WUA") was certified as the exclusive collective bargaining agent for all regular full-time major league umpires.


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