|Nestor George Chylak, Jr.|
May 11, 1922|
|Died||February 17, 1982
|Place of burial||SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Cemetery
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1942 - 1945|
|Battles/wars||World War II
* Battle of the Bulge (1944 - 45)
|Awards||Silver Star (1)
Purple Heart (1)
|Other work||Baseball umpire|
|Nestor George Chylak, Jr.|
|Election Method||Veterans Committee|
Nestor George Chylak, Jr. (//; May 11, 1922 – February 17, 1982) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the American League from 1954 to 1978. He umpired in three ALCS (1969, 1972, 1973), serving as crew chief in 1969 and 1973. He also called five World Series (1957, 1960, 1966, 1971, 1977), serving as the crew chief in 1971 (in which he called balls and strikes in the decisive Game 7) and 1977. He also worked in six All-Star Games: 1957, 1960 (both games), 1964, 1973 and 1978, calling balls and strikes in the second 1960 game and in 1973.
Of Ukrainian descent, Chylak was born in Olyphant, Pennsylvania, and attended the University of Scranton, where he studied engineering. During World War II, he served in the Army in Europe; in the Battle of the Bulge he was wounded by shrapnel from an exploding shell and was hospitalized for eight weeks with an injury that nearly cost him his sight. He earned both the Silver Star and Purple Heart during his service. After the war, he began umpiring amateur baseball in 1946, and returned briefly to college. He first worked in the minor leagues in 1947, reaching the American League seven years later.
Among his noteworthy games were Sandy Koufax's final game in the 1966 Series; the first American League Championship Series, "Ten Cent Beer Night" in Cleveland in 1974, in which he declared a forfeit due to constant fighting after he was hit over the head with a chair; and the first major league game played in Toronto in 1977, during a snowstorm at Exhibition Stadium, for which he was the home plate umpire.
After retiring from the field in 1978, he became an assistant league supervisor of umpires. Chylak was in the umpire's dressing room at Comiskey Park on Disco Demolition Night, a July 12, 1979, doubleheader between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox. Between games of the doubleheader, when unruly fans began to riot and blow up disco records on the field, Chylak told White Sox owner Bill Veeck that under no circumstances would the second game of the doubleheader be played. Veeck protested furiously, but Chylak's decision was upheld by American League president Lee MacPhail. The next day, MacPhail ordered the second game of the twinbill be forfeited to Detroit.
Following his retirement, he became a member of the Sports Illustrated Speakers' Bureau and addressed a wide variety of groups, "talking about the intangible lessons he learned during his years in baseball". Chylak died of a heart attack at age 59 in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, and is survived by his wife Sue, his sons Robert and William, and seven grandchildren. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1999.
- Kashatus, William C. (2002). Diamonds in the Coalfields: 21 Remarkable Baseball Players, Managers, and Umpires from Northeast Pennsylvania. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-1176-4.
- Nestor Chylak at the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Fan tribute site - several articles and photos
- New York Times obituary
- Nestor Chylak at Find a Grave