This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of July 9

2021-07-09 TWIR Image-Zeilich

July 8, 1871 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

      Look out for a swindler named G. C. Davis who has been in our village recently, and imposed upon two of our citizens to the extent of $5 each.
      On Wednesday last as Walter H. Shupe was riding out in his buggy, near Waldberg, he was suddenly rendered insensible by what was supposed to be paralysis of the brain. He was cared for by friends, and after a refreshing sleep of a few hours was himself again.
      A domestic recently in the service of Mr. Moeller, either fell or jumped overboard from the P. G. Coffin after she had left her landing on Friday morning. When rescued life was not wholly extinct, but she died soon after being brought to land. Mr. Moeller is of the opinion she was laboring under temporary insanity.

July 8, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

     Within a year a world congress of women leaders in commerce, finance, agriculture, education and government will be held in either Washington, Geneva or the Hague. This announcement has been made by Mrs. Katherine Clemens Gould, president of the Women’s International Chamber of Commerce.
     The proposed congress promises to be one of the milestones in the rapid progress which the women of the world have made during the past half dozen years in realizing their ambition to achieve a real place in the sun. We can imagine nothing that would be more potent in furthering the cause of a better understanding among nations, leading eventually to world peace, than annual conferences of the world’s leading women.
     Whatever the immediate object of bringing them together, this would surely become the final great objective.

     Nothing could be more absurd than the bill of Congressman [Paul B.] Johnson of Mississippi to prohibit women smoking in public places in the District of Columbia. The sight of women smoking in public may not be pleasing but the women certainly have as much right as the men to smoke when and where they please.

July 7, 1971 – 50 YEARS AGO
Rockland Independent/Leader

     Some areas in the nation are famous for producing a number of presidents. Others are known for the high quality of wheat they produce. Rockland County is steadily gaining notoriety for the number of competent umpires developed here for the nation and the county. One big league ump, Marty Springstead, has his home base in Suffern.
     While Springstead presides over the pros in the American League, three county umpires, Ed Mcgrath, Jim Kane, and Bill Zeilich, have been selected to umpire in the international tournament for The Babe Ruth baseball program.
     Mcgrath, a guidance counselor and varsity coach at Clarkstown High School, and Kane, Vice President of the Nyack Savings and Loan Association, will umpire the 16-18 year old Babe Ruth league tourney in Sta[m]ford, Connecticut.
     The third Rocklander to participate as an umpire for the Series is the “dean of Rockland County umpires.” Zeilich is participating in his fourth “B.R.L.” World Series and will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for his officiating efforts.
     When not wearing the traditional blue uniform of the baseball umpire, Zeilich dons the blue of the Clarkstown police force. According to Lt. Zeilich umpiring and running a police squad are quite similar.
     “In both roles you have to use judgement and most importantly you have to attain a position of respect.” Zeilich commands that respect on the baseball diamond and on the beat. How far can an angry manager or an enraged player go in arguing with Zeilich?
     The ump responded with this diplomatic reply: “You have to be firm with them, otherwise they will run all over you. They have a right to question one of my decisions as long as they dispute them with a civil tongue.” Zeilich realizes that as both policemen and ump, he is constantly in a position of authority. “People will test you in both jobs,” he said with sheepish grin.
     As a youngster, Zeilich was a frustrated catcher in sandlot ball. He can still recall vividly the games he played on Church Street in Spring Valley. He and his friends played ball all day, from sunup to sundown. Deciding he couldn’t make it, Zeilich chose umpiring because “our right down in the middle of things.”
     In 1948, Bill Zeilich officiated in the now defunct North Atlantic League. In reminiscing of those days of daily travel, secondary hotels, and bush-league stadiums, Zeilich said, “Those were hard days. I remember once I umped in a small coal town in Pennsylvania, and one night the fans took exception to some of my calls. They responded to my decisions by pelting me with pieces of coal the size of baseballs.”
     After tolerating these abuses for two years, Bill came to the decision that it was time for him to get married and settle down. In securing a job as a Clarkstown policeman Zeilich established roots in the community. “Traveling from city to city is no life for a family man,” he observed. Lt. Zeilich has no regrets in choosing police work as a profession. However he realizes he would have been a major league umpire, if he would have stayed on as a minor league ump.
     Has baseball changed after 26 years of umpiring? In Zeilich’s opinion no, only in a decline of both fan and player participation, yet according to Lt. Zeilich, “the quality of play has remained the same.”
     After twenty six years behind the plate the quality of umping hasn’t changed either.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


Add a Comment:

Please signup or login to add a comment.