Cal Hubbard

The only man to be elected to the baseball, college football, and pro football halls of fame, Hubbard was a huge man, 6’3″ and 250 lbs. At little Centenary and Geneva colleges, he won nationwide fame as a bone-crushing tackle. In his professional football career, he played end and linebacker, in addition, to tackle for the 1927 champion New York Giants and the 1929-31 Green Bay Packers champions. He was named at tackle on the first three official All-NFL teams, 1931-33.

He began umpiring minor league games during the summers while he was playing pro football, and the year after he retired from the gridiron, he became an AL umpire. In 1944, Hubbard gained notoriety as the first umpire to eject a pitcher (the Browns Nels Potter) for throwing a spitball. Hubbard’s imposing size and keen eyesight made him one of the best at his trade. He was once examined at the Boston Optical Lab and was found to have 20-10 vision, the strongest ever recorded – even better than Ted Williams.

Ironically, a hunting accident in 1951 affected the sight in his left eye and led to his retirement from the field. He served as supervisor of AL umpires for 15 years. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976, the year before his death.