Bill Stewart (umpire)
William Joseph Stewart
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5'6" Weight 185 lb.
Bill Stewart had a long, strange trip through sports.
Stewart was a minor league OF/P from 1913 to 1917, mostly in northeastern leagues. He played for the Worcester Busters in 1913-1914 as a regular outfielder who occasionally pitched, but was mostly a pitcher who played outfield for the Chambersburg Maroons in 1915.
Stewart was the first International League player to enlist during World War I, when he joined the Navy in June 1917. Stewart was apparently on the Chicago White Sox roster in 1919 but did not get in any games due to an injured pitching arm suffered in the winter when he fell off a step. He was released to the Louisville Colonels in May. He continued as an OF/P in the minors through 1922. Stewart also was the coach at Boston University in 1921, managed semi-pro teams in 1924-1925, and scouted for the Boston Red Sox in 1925-1926. Stewart returned to the minors as player/manager of the Nashua Millionaires in 1927 and the Waterbury Brasscos for part of 1928. He managed a semi-pro team in 1929.
Stewart began his umpiring career in the Eastern League in 1930. He worked the International League in 1931 and the New York-Penn Leaguein 1932-1933. Stewart was a National League umpire for 3,195 games over 22 seasons between 1933 and 1955. Stewart was a well-respected umpire. He worked five World Series. He was also called to work four All-Star Games in his career. In 1938, he was the home plate umpire for Johnny Vander Meer's second no-hitter.
In the off-season, Stewart was involved in the National Hockey League. In 1928, he became the first American referee in the NHL. He was an NHL referee for 11 seasons (1928-37, 1939-41). In 1937-38 and 1938-39, he was behind the bench as the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, becoming the first American coach to win the trophy. Stewart coached the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hockey team for seven years. In 1957, he coached the United States national hockey team. Stewart is a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. His grandson, Paul, was a player in the World Hockey Association and NHL and is a current NHL official.