Baseball umpires have not always bent down behind the catcher. From the origins of modern baseball in 1845 through 1859, umpires sat in padded chairs positioned behind home plate. During this time, umpires were not professional and people were invited to act as umpire simply as an honor. As baseball gained in popularity, a greater importance was placed on umpires making calls and they began standing. It wasn’t until 1876 that the first professional umpire, William McLean, was used in professional baseball history in the first official National League game between the Boston Red Caps and the Philadelphia Athletics.
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