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Don't know when - but this is a fun question! My guess is shortly after the demise of the inflatable chest protector - sometime in the mid-'70's. I do know the American league umps used them for a few years after the National League umpires quit using them. Light blue button down shirt was the uniform across the board - including minor league umps. Optional navy blue three button blazer. If I recall correctly it was around 1996 that the "polo" style navy blue shirt replaced the traditional button-down collared shirt. And if memory serves me red shirts were worn for the playoffs and (WS?) that first year. The powder blue shirt followed and then it became kind of a free-for-all in terms of the color. I think today the color is determined by the umpire-in-chief for any particular series of games. Could be wrong on all this but this is what comes to mind.

It never occurred to me that the "blue"
reference was to anything other than the
color of their uniforms.

Goetz (then a N.L. Umpire) was writing about
the importance of winning and keeping the
respect of both players and fans...

"And in line with that, look at the umpire's
appearance. It isn't an accident that we
wear dignified blue suits. Dignity is an
important part of the job."

Well, that certainly is no proof of my theory,
but it's fun to read the old books. I've got
a good many of them.

I plan to save them and if I can return, in
my next life, I'm gonna be a h.s. b.b. coach
and make all my players read them. I may
even steal a page from that ole coach at
Lubbock Monterey and give 'em a test.


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