Dusty Boggess, Umpire Dead;
In the National League 18 Years
Familiar Ebbets Field Figure Had Feuded With Durocher — Received Klem Award
Special to the New York Times
DALLAS, July 8 — Dusty Boggess, who was a National League Umpire for 18 years, died today in Parkland Hospital. Boggess, a native of Terell, Tex., had entered the hospital on May 28 suffering from a chronic lung ailment. He was 64 years old.
'Ball Player's Umpire'
This 'man in blue,' a porky, barrel-chested man, gained fame in Texas for his feats in high school baseball and football. He reached the National League in 1944, five years after beginning his umpiring career in the Western League. Boggess was said to have had more tolerance than most umpires for the players' gripes.
"He was a ball player's umpire," said Gil Hodges, the manager of the New York Mets, who recalled Boggess's many umpiring assignments at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.
The one Boggess himself remembered best, according to his book "Kill the Ump!" published in 1966, was a July 4 double-header between the Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds in 1945.
Boggess ejected Leo Durocher, then the fiery Dodger manager, in the first game and was pummeled for 10 minutes with a deluge of what he called "umpire fruit" (rotting tomatoes, limp celery, apples, overrip black bananas and other vegetables suitable only for the garbage can).
After the games, the umpires left the park under police guard supported by a motorcycle escort.
Boggess believed that Willie Mays of the Giants was the greatest player he had ever seen and considered working as the second-base umpire during Don Larsen's perfect game in the World Series of 1956 his greatest thrill.
Got Bill Klem Award
Upon his retirement in 1962, after having served in four World Series and in five All-Star games, Boggess received the first Bill Klem Award as the outstanding umpire in baseball. He was subsequently a scout for the Chicago White Sox of the American League and for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He also represented a Dallas brewery.
Before becoming an umpire, Lynton R. Boggess played minor league baseball in the chain of the St. Louis Cardinals for 12 years. Although primarily a third baseman, he played every position on the field during a game in 1928 for San Antonio of the Texas League.
During his first year as an umpire in the Western League in 1939, he had to hitchhike from San Antonio to Mitchell, S.D.
Early Season Expensive
"I worked through South Dakota and Nebraska all summer, then stayed around to work the playoffs, "he recalled. "When the year was over, I owed the league $12."
Of umpiring, Boggess one said, "It's the angle you get that makes the difference. Umpiring schools aren't taking this into consideration much any more. They're taking big, fat guys who couldn't run the 100-yard dash in an hour and asking them to cover the same ground as the fast, skinny guy."
He was also critical of modern players.
"They don't slide any more - they crawl, the apologize for stealing a base," he remarked. "Ty Cobb would break records now that they've never thought of because nobody could handle those spikes of his."
Boggess's nickname came from his high school football days, when his long runs with the ball over the dry, sunbaked Texas playing fields kicked up long trails of dust.
A funeral service will be held in Dallas tomorrow. He had no immediate survivors.