Cal Hubbard Obituary
Appeared in The New York Times on October 18, 1977Cal Hubbard Obituary
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 17 (AP) — Cal Hubbard, the only man elected to both the professional baseball and football halls of fame, died here today of cancer. He was 76 years old.
Mr. Hubbard was born in Keytesville, Mo., on Oct. 31, 1900. After college, he played tackle for Green Bay, Pittsburgh and the New York Giants and was elected to the National Football League's Hall of Fame in 1963.
After his pro football career, Hubbard turned to baseball as a major league umpire. He was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame last year.
Mr. Hubbard also is a member of the college football Hall of Fame. He was elected in 1962 for his play at Centenary College of Shreveport, La., and Geneva College at Beaver Falls, Pa.
He is survived by his wife, Mildred, and a son, Dr. Robert Hubbard of Gulfport, Fla.
Genial Person of Authority
Cal Hubbard was a notable figure in sports for more than half a century. A member of both the college and professional football halls of fame, Mr. Hubbard played football until he was 36 years old. He was a baseball umpire in the American League for 16 years and then a league supervisor for 18 years.
Mr. Hubbard's stature gave him a posture of authority. He stood 6 feet 4 inches and weighed 250 pounds. But he was an easy-going, genial person and a favorite of the players (if any umpire can be a favorite).
Mr. Hubbard enrolled at Centenary College because he so admired the head coach, Alvin (Bo) McMillin. When Mr. McMillin moved to Geneva College, Mr. Hubbard went alone, although he had to wait a year to become eligible to play again. He starred when Geneva upset Harvard in 1926 for Harvard's first opening-game defeat in its history.
He Helps Out Giants
He played pro football for 10 seasons, most of them for the Green Bay Packers as an outstanding tackle. He had retired, but the Giants needed help in 1936, and Mr. Hubbard joined them for what was supposed to be one game. He played in six.
"I reported on a Friday night," he recalled, "and they used me Sunday against Detroit.. I was to be a sub, but both tackles got hurt and I played 56 minutes. I made tackles all over the field. It was one of my best days I've ever had."
"The best who ever played the game," said Mr. McMillin of Mr. Hubbard, who was elected as a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. "The best lineman," said a long rival, George Halas of the Chicago Bears.
As an umpire, Mr. Hubbard was always in control of the game. One day Mike Tresh, the White Sox catcher, was complaining about his ball-and-strike calls.
The umpire finally lost his patience and, towering over the catcher, he said, "Mike, if you don't shut up, I'm going to hit you so hard on the top of the head that it will take a derrick to get you back to level ground." The catcher shut up.
Mr. Hubbard enjoyed hunting, and it was a hunting accident that ended his career as an umpire. A shotgun pellet struck his eye and impaired his sight in 1951.
As supervisor of the umpires, he once voted to legalize the spitball pitch, but he was in a minority.
"Williams is one of the nicest kids you'd ever want to meet," said Cal Hubbard in 1948. "He never squawks on balls or strikes and swings at anything near the plate. He's a natural, never taking a good pitch."