Conlan began his major league career in 1934 as an outfielder for the Chicago White Sox. In 1935, however, Conlan was presented with an unusual opportunity. During a game against the St. Louis Browns, umpire Red Ormsby fell ill due to the heat and Conlan was asked to fill in. The following year Conlan made the transition from player to umpire complete, beginning in the minor leagues.
Template:MLB HoF Conlan umpired in the National League from 1941 to 1964, officiating in five World Series (1945, 1950, 1954, 1957 and 1961) and six All-Star games (1943, '47, '50, '53, '58 and '62). He also umpired in the playoff series to decide the NL's regular-season champions in 1951, '59 and '62. He was the home plate umpire when Gil Hodges hit four home runs on August 31, 1950; he also umpired in the April 30, 1961 game in which Willie Mays hit four home runs.
Conlan was known for several trademarks: Instead of a regular dress tie like most umpires of the day wore, Conlan wore a natty bow tie for his career. Conlan was also known for making out calls with his left hand, instead of his right. Finally, Conlan was the only National League umpire allowed to wear the outside chest protector, instead of the inside protector that all other NL umpires used.
- Baseball Hall of Fame
- BaseballLibrary.com - biography and career highlights
- Baseball-Reference.com - career playing statistics