John Gaffney

One of the first to be dubbed “King of Umpires”, Gaffney controlled the game through tact and diplomacy. At a time when umpires worked games alone, he popularized the technique of working behind the plate until a man reached base, then moving behind the pitcher. He also began the practice of calling a ball “fair” or “foul” at the point where it left the park, rather than where it was last seen. In 1888 he was the highest paid umpire in baseball, earning $2,500 a year plus expenses on the road.