William Aloysius McGowan (January 18, 1896 – December 9, 1954) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the American League from 1925 to 1954. McGowan founded the second umpire school in the United States. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992, the only person born in Delaware so honored.
McGowan in 1925
|American League umpire|
|Born: January 18, 1896|
|Died: December 9, 1954 (aged 58)|
Silver Spring, Maryland
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Election Method||Veterans Committee|
McGowan was born and grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1913, he began umpiring in the Tri-State League at the age of 17. He moved on to the Virginia League in 1915, the International League and New York State League in 1916, and the Blue Ridge League in 1917. McGowan served in the United States Armed Forces during World War I in 1918, and then returned to the International League for 1919. Following the 1922 season, McGowan left the International League and joined the umpiring staff of the Southern Association, staying there until 1924.
On April 14, 1925, McGowan umpired his first American League game. He umpired third base in that game. He would umpire for 30 seasons, umpiring in eight World Series (1928, 1931, 1935, 1939, 1941, 1944, 1947, and 1950). He also worked four All-Star Games (1933, 1937, 1942, and 1950). He umpired in 2,541 consecutive games, missing a game on September 3, 1940 due to neuritis.
McGowan spent time writing baseball-related newspaper articles in the offseasons, working for the New Orleans Item in the 1920s. McGowan founded what is now known as the Wendelstedt Umpire School in 1938, which was run by Al Somers after his death until 1977, when it was taken over by the Wendelstedt family.
He died at age 58 at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland, after suffering two heart attacks in less than a week. He was buried in Cathedral Cemetery in Wilmington. He was survived by his wife, a son and a foster son. McGowan was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 by the Veterans Committee.
In the 1928 World Series, the New York Yankees swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four games. This was the first time a team had swept consecutive Series.
Babe Ruth hit .625 (10 for 16) as the Yankees demolished their opponents by a combined score of 27 to 10. As he had done against the Cards in the 1926 Series, Ruth rocketed three home runs over the right field pavilion in Sportsman's Park in Game 4, the only one to do it twice in the World Series through the 2016 season. Unlike 1926, however, it occurred in the final game of a Series won by the Yanks and put an exclamation mark on their two consecutive World Series sweeps.
Lou Gehrig also had a good Series, hitting .545 ( 6 for 11) with four home runs. He drove in as many runs by himself (9) as the entire Cardinal team combined.
Bill McKechnie became the second manager to lead two different teams to the World Series, and like Pat Moran, won one and lost one.1954 Major League Baseball season
The 1954 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 13 to October 2, 1954. For the second consecutive season, an MLB franchise relocated, as the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Orioles, who played their home games at Memorial Stadium.1992 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1992 followed the system in place since 1978.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and
elected two, Rollie Fingers and Tom Seaver.
The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.
It selected two, Bill McGowan and Hal Newhouser.Al Somers
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The Wendelstedt Umpire School umpires for professional baseball is the only independently run professional umpire training program recognized by the minor leagues and major leagues. It is located in Ormond Beach, Florida. It runs for five weeks each early January through early February. The school is open to both males and females; the only female ever to work a Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training game, Pam Postema, graduated from the school, as have a number of other female professional umpires. The school was previously known as the Bill McGowan School for Umpires and the Al Somers Umpire School.Kevin Tanner
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|J. G. Taylor Spink Award|
|Ford C. Frick Award|
Italics denotes players who have been voted in but not yet inducted.