Sergeant Nestor Chylak was wounded on January 3, 1945 – the fragments of a tree cut his face after the Shrapnel shells blew up. Nestor temporarily lost his sight. He spent eight weeks in the hospital but, fortunately, was able to recover. In 1999, the sergeant was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame.
Childhood and Adolescence
He was born on May 11, 1922, in a small town in Pennsylvania. His parents were descendants of immigrants from Ukraine.
The guy managed to study at the university for an engineering degree for a year only. Then he was called up for military service and sent to Europe. He returned home after the surrender of Germany.
Nestor continued his studies but never received a degree. He wanted to play baseball and only a shoulder injury broke his plans. However, Chylak remained in the sport – he began to referee matches. His umpiring career started in 1946 with amateur games in the Northeast League of Pennsylvania.
Play Diligently and Honestly
Chylak refereed 3857 baseball games. By the way, his MLB career lasted a quarter of a century. He worked on big matches, including All-Star Games (6 times) and World Series (5 times).
The Boston Red Sox’ legend Johnny Pesky said, “Nestor is an ultra-cool referee. He is always at the right time and place.” There are many more similar comments from players and umpires who regard Chylak as one of the best of his occupation.
Nestor’s career ended in Toronto in July 1978. He was umpiring at a match having returned from a rough trip when he suddenly got sick. Nestor’s motto was: “Play diligently and honestly.”
17 years after Chylak’s death, he was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame. A memorial board was set in his hometown. Also, one of his grandchildren is dreaming of an umpiring career.
Do you know Chylak? What do you think about him?
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