Clipped From El Paso Herald-Post
.Wednesday, May 20, 1953 JM William QuotM— Ah Ump Who's Reminiscing By JOE WILLIAMS NEW YORK, May 20.-H has long been a moot question. Which came first, the whisk broom or umpire Tommy Connolly? . . "That is not as funny as you seem to think," said the old g entlem an drily. "As a matter of fact, I ditf precede the whisk broom, the pres- ,ent one, that is." This was in Chi- ;cago last week and Mr. Connolly, lone, surviving WD.LIAMS member of the original«S"An:erican League staff, who 'still serves in an advisory capacity to the president, was taking • stroll dcwn. memory lane. "In the beginning the broom we used to dust off the plate was maybe a yard long. The kind porters his gooct luck piece for the rest of the game, snd if the broom wasn't where it had been the first time he'd move it. Even the good hitters started doing it. Soon it became a nuisance and we got the small one." 6C-YEAR CAREER As umpire, developer of umpires and supervisor of umpires, Mr. Connolly, a New England Irishman, still lively and sharp, has had a career reaching over some 60 years. Only Connie Mack, Clark Griffith and Ed B?now have seen as much of baseball's ancient and continuing pageantry. Mr. Connolly didn't turn in his indicator .until the '30s. He was a quiet, unobtrusive, mannerly operative.' You seldom knew he was on the field. It would follow that he has scant admiration for the show boat umpire. This explains why you see so few in his league. "The Used in the early' Pullmans. We changed, when the ball players started to read magic into the thing. Naturally, we couldn't pocket the tiroom as the umpire does now. Too big. We'd dust the plate, then toss the broom aside. "Well, if a ball player got a hit from the side of the plate where the broom had dropped it became Colonial Golf Entries Play Bu United Press -FORT WORTH, May 20. — The fans come out to see the ball players,'' he snapped. Present day umpire salaries run to $15,000 plus $2500 expenses. As with the players, the minimum salary is $5000 For world series officiating the pay is $3000, and there are six umpires. IT WAS DIFFERENT "They can't maxe too much to suit me," he smiled, "but in my day it was a bit different." It was, indeed. The salary was $2000 and the umpires paid their own expenses, excluding transportation. Mr. Connolly worked in the first modern worlci series, 1903, between Pittsburgh and the Boston Red Sox It went eight games, with the Red Sox coming .from behind to win the ast four after dropping two of the irst three ... and Mr. Connolly got ;50 a game. "It was quite a series," reminisced he old gentleman. "Had two three- ;ame winners. Deacon Philippe, of :he Pirates, arid Bill Dirineen, of ;he Rftd.Sox, (Dinneen, you know, Jater became an umpire in our eague. An excellent one, too. No- )ody was ever better on balls and strikes.) There was one disappointment to the ions. Hans Wagner was pretty well stopped, hit only .214 and his longest drive was one double. And the Dutchman was the reatest hitter in the game at the Lime." COBB WAS GREATEST Which reminded me of a brilliant cliche. Who was the greatest ball player he had ever seen? He looked at me as if the question was not only superfluous but stupid "Why, Ty Cobb, of course." Then by way of amplification .. "He would beat you so many ways He could outnit you, outrun you and out think you. If you needed the tying or winning run in the last inning and he was up it was even money he'd get it." ' Is there any'one type of ball play er who gives the umpires the mos trouble? "Yes, and it's-a saddening thing The veteran who is about through In his prime you never get a peep out of him. But on the way down he picks up a persecution complex Everybody's down on him, especial ly the umpire who calls a close one against him. Even the stars, ge that way."