Jack Brennan (umpire)

From BR Bullpen

John E. Brennan

Biographical Information[edit]

Jack Brennan was an umpire in the American Association in 1884 and in the National League in 1887 and 1899. He presumably umpired in the minor leagues between those stints in the majors.

On June 12, 1884, he was involved in a serious row at Baltimore's Oriole Park in a game between the Baltimore Orioles and Louisville Eclipse. The home crowd was apparently rattled by his bad calls and at one point, hundreds stormed the field, including, according to newspaper reports, a man wielding a large revolver who threatened to shoot him if he made any more such calls. The police had to intervene to clear the mob, and after the game (which ended in a 4-4 tie), Brennan was slugged to the ground by a fan before being spirited away to the Orioles ' clubhouse for his own protection, then taken to player Jim Clinton's home and finally being whisked out of town on the first train. The individual who hit Brennan was fined one dollar, and Brennan never umpired another game in Baltimore after the incident. The Orioles erected a barbed wire fence to encircle the stands in order to prevent further such incidents, although the measure appeared to have been only partially successful. It is also said that the expression "to be Brennanized" briefly entered the baseball lingo as a result of the incident, meaning an umpire being threatened.

He is not to be confused with Jim "Jack" Brennan, a contemporary who also umpired in the American Association, albeit only briefly.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Marty Payne: "Beer Tanks and Barbed Wire: Bill Barnie and Baltimore", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 42, Number 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 25-29.

Related Sites[edit]