Schechter: Bill Dinneen: World Series stalwart as player and umpire

From SABR member Gabriel Schechter at The National Pastime Museum on January 26, 2017:

The average Major League umpire learned early in life that he didn’t have the talent to make the big time as a player. Love of the game made him pursue the less glamorous path to the most thankless job in baseball—but one that would put him in the center of the action.

Of the 10 umpires elected to the Hall of Fame, only two—Hank O’Day and Jocko Conlan—played in the Majors. A handful of Hall of Fame players tried umpiring but didn’t last, such as Ed Walsh, who umpired 87 American League games in 1922, five years after his last game as a pitcher. The next year, he left the abuse behind to don a uniform again as a White Sox coach.

I’m intrigued by the men who had significant careers both as players and as umpires. There haven’t been many, fewer than a dozen, and you have to go back more than a century to find the most important and fascinating of them: Bill Dinneen. The hero of the first World Series, Dinneen won 170 games from 1898 to 1909. One week he was a Major League pitcher, the next week a Major League umpire, and he became the dean of American League arbiters during the following 28 seasons.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 26, 2017. Last Updated: January 26, 2017.