Klem, Bill

William Joseph Klem
Born: February 22, 1874, Rochester, New York
Died: September 1, 1951, Miami, Florida
Elected to the Hall of Fame by Veterans Committee: 1953

Colorful and flamboyant, Bill Klem brought dignity and respect to his profession. Known as The Old Arbitrator, he umpired almost exclusively behind the plate his first 16 years because of his superior ability on balls and strikes. He also was among the originators of arm signals to coincide with his calls. Proof positive of his skill and universal respect were his 18 World Series assignments. He umpired from 1905 to 1941 and then served as chief of National League umpires.

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Did You Know: 
that Bill Klem was the first umpire to use the inside chest protector, now standard equipment for umpires throughout all levels of baseball?
The foundation stone of our national pastime is its umpires. And the foundation stone on which that foundation stone rests is William J. Klem. He brought a dignity to the job that it never had before.
sportswriter Arthur Daley