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Bill Klem

  • American athlete
  • Born February 22, 1874
  • Died September 16, 1951

William Joseph Klem, born William Joseph Klimm (February 22, 1874 – September 16, 1951), known as the "Old Arbitrator" and the "father of baseball umpires", was a National League (NL) umpire in Major League Baseball from 1905 to 1941. He worked 18 World Series, which is a major league record. Klem was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.


Your job is to umpire for the ball and not the player.




The best umpired game is the game in which the fans cannot recall the umpires who worked it.




The most cowardly thing in the world is blaming mistakes upon the umpires. Too many managers strut around on the field trying to manage the umpires instead of their teams.




There are one-hundred fifty-four games in a season and you can find one-hundred fifty-four reasons why your team should have won every one of them.




It ain't nothin' till I call it.




Fix your eye on the ball from the moment the pitcher holds it in his glove. Follow it as he throws to the plate and stay with it until the play is completed. Action takes place only where the ball goes.




An angry player can't argue with the back of an umpire who is walking away.




I told the umpires to walk back at least thirty-five feet from home plate. That reduced the arguements.




Baseball is more than a game to me, it's a religion.




That guy in a twenty-five cent bleacher seat is as much entitled to know a call as the guy in the boxes. He can see my arm signal even if he can't hear my voice.



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