Jerry Neudecker

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Jerome A. Neudecker (August 13, 1930 – January 11, 1997) was a Major League Baseball umpire who worked in the American League from 1966 to 1985. He wore number 6 when the league adopted uniform numbers in 1980.

Early career[edit]

Born in Marine, Illinois, Neudecker attended Johnson's Umpire School, run by former NL umpire Steamboat Johnson. After attending the umpire school, Neudecker began working in the Georgia-Florida League in 1950. In 1951, he moved to the Evangeline Baseball League.[1] While serving in the Air Force, stationed in Valdosta, Georgia, Neudecker returned to the Georgia-Florida league in 1954 and 1955. In 1956, he began work in the South Atlantic League, before returning to the Air Force and serving until 1960.[1]

Neudecker resumed working in the South Atlantic League in 1960 and continued through 1962. The league's name was then changed to the Southern League, and Neudecker continued umpiring there through 1965, before being called up to the American League at the end of the 1965 season.[1]

Major league career[edit]

Neudecker worked in three All-Star Games (1966, 1972 and 1976) four American League Championship Series (1970, 1974, 1977 and 1981) and two World Series (1973 and 1979). He was the home plate umpire in Game 7 of the 1979 Series, which the Pittsburgh Pirates won after Willie Stargell’s sixth-inning home run gave them a 2-1 lead and propelled them to a third straight victory over the Baltimore Orioles, who had led the Series three games to one. Neudecker also officiated in four no-hitters, including being the home plate umpire for two: Joe Horlen’s on September 10, 1967 [2] and Catfish Hunter's perfect game on May 8, 1968.[3]

Neudecker was the last full-time Major League umpire to use a "balloon" chest protector. (Bill Deegan, who had quit during the 1980 season, wore this chest protector during two umpire strikes: on Opening Day, 1991, and for two games during the 1995 season.) After his retirement, his chest protector was sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame.[4]

Neudecker became the assistant supervisor of American League umpires in 1986, working under Marty Springstead. At the time of his death, he was working in the Baseball Umpire Development program.[5]

Neudecker died of cancer at age 66 at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and was buried there at Beal Memorial Cemetery.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Skipper, John C. (1997). Umpires: Classic Baseball Stories from the Men Who Made the Calls. McFarland. p. 123. ISBN 0786403640. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Shapiro, Mark (13 January 1997). "Umpire Jerry Neudecker Dies". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Jerry Neudecker: Last of the 'raftmen'". Referee, March, 1997. p. 13.
  6. ^ "Jerry Neudecker, Major League Umpire, 66". The New York Times. 13 January 1997. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Jerry Neudecker". Retrieved 23 June 2012. 

External links[edit]