Baseball History: Bill Dinneen

Bill Dinneen (R) with the other umpires in the 1916 World Series (L to R) Ernie Quigley, Tom Connolly, Hank_O'Day. Connolly is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Bill Dinneen (R) with the other umpires in the 1916 World Series (L to R) Ernie Quigley, Tom Connolly, Hank O’Day. Connolly is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Nolan Ryan has thrown seven no-hitters, which is the standard in the major leagues.

Frank O’Loughlin was the home plate umpire in a record six no-hitters.

Although there are 10 umpires in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, arbiters are not often recognized unless they make the “wrong” call depending on one’s perspective.

An American League umpire from 1909 to 1937, Bill Dinneen was behind the plate for his fifth and final no-hitter as he called Howard Ehmke‘s effort for the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 7, 1923.

Ehmke’s no-hitter came just three days after Dinneen worked the historic Sam Jones performance for the New York Yankees on Sept. 4.

Dinneen’s previous three no-hitters were for Chief Bender of the Philadelphia A’s (1910), George Mullin of the Detroit Tigers (1912) and Dutch Leonard of the Red Sox (1918).

A native of Syracuse, New York, Dinneen worked in eight World Series and during the first MLB All-Star Game in 1933.

The One and Only

Like Ryan and O’Loughlin, Dinneen has the word “only” by his name as well.

In addition to his 29 years as an umpire, Dinneen was a major league pitcher for 12 seasons with a career record of 170-177 with a 3.01 ERA. While those numbers certainly aren’t spectacular, Dinneen had his moments on the diamond.

Dinneen is the ONLY person in baseball history to umpire a no-hitter and also throw one.

In 1905, Dinneen pitched his gem for the Boston Americans (Red Sox) in a 2-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 27.

Bill Dinneen as a player.

Bill Dinneen as a player.

The First World Series

The best performance in his career had occurred earlier in the 1903 World Series. The Pittsburgh Pirates were favored in the inaugural fall classic, but Boston and Dinneen had other plans.

The series was a best of nine and Boston would win five games to three. Dinneen pitched in the even numbered affairs winning the second, sixth and final contest. He threw a 3-0 shutout in game two at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds.

After splitting his two starts in Pittsburgh, Dinneen blanked the Pirates with a four-hitter in a 3-0 win in the clinching victory in Boston.

The legendary Cy Young won the other two contests for Boston.

Started Career in 1898

Dinneen began his career in the National League with the Washington Senators in 1898 and 1899 with a 23-36 mark in those two seasons.

After his time in Washington, he was purchased by the Boston Beaneaters of the NL where is was 20-14 in 1900. The next season, the right-hander was 15-18 before he jumped to the AL with the other Boston franchise.

In 1902, he was 21-21 before posting a 21-13 mark for the world champions the following year. His best season was in 1904 as he went 23-14 for the AL pennant winners, who were denied a chance at the World Series when John McGraw of the New York Giants refused to play in what would have been the second annual event.

The year of his no-hitter, Dinneen would be 12-14. He was 8-19 the next season and was traded in 1907 to the St. Louis Browns. In 1908, he was 14-7 and in his last season he was 6-7. He became an umpire soon after his playing days were over to earn his special place in baseball history.

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