Baseball umpires have not always bent down behind the catcher. From the origins of modern baseball in 1845 through 1859, umpires sat in padded chairs positioned behind home plate. During this time, umpires were not professional and people were invited to act as umpire simply as an honor. As baseball gained in popularity, a greater importance was placed on umpires making calls and they began standing. It wasn’t until 1876 that the first professional umpire, William McLean, was used in professional baseball history in the first official National League game between the Boston Red Caps and the Philadelphia Athletics.
More about baseball umpires:
- The first professional umpires were paid $5 US Dollars (USD) per game in 1878.
- Baseball umpires were permitted to directly levy fines onto players who committed violations from 1879 to 1950, until the responsibility was directed to the League president.
- Professional football player Cal Hubbard retired from the sport in 1936, after which he became a professional baseball umpire, and is the only person to be in the Hall of Fame for both football and baseball.