The first professional umpire was William McLean. The president of the national league appointed twenty men in 1879. Clubs and teams could choose from these 20 men, therefore becoming baseball's first umpiring staff. Of the national league, all home teams had to pay $5 to the referees. At that time referees had a little or no protection. Now al MLB umpires wear protection.
In a baseball game there are two or more umpires. The head umpire stays at the home plate. This is the referee who is in charge of the entire match. He decides on fair balls and bad balls. This umpire calls balls and strikes, and makes most calls concerning the batter or concerning baserunners near home plate. Baseball and softball umpires both wear protection. There are even baseball umpire schools. At these schools you will be trained to be a referee. An example of a school is the Wendelstedt Umpire School. There you will learn from the best referees in the game. Baseball is a sport which demands lots of attention and hence the sport includes more than one umpire per game.
Baseball umpires also wear protection. Safety is very important, not just for the players but for the umpires as well. A referee wears chest protection for protection against balls and he wears shin guards, leg guards, and a mask. All MLB umpires wear protection gear. Referees wear a referee uniform over their protective clothing. Umpire mask prevents injuries on cheek bones, jaws and the chin, it's best for you to wear an umpire mask. You can fully focus on the game due to the comfortable fit and the open eye-sight of the mask. It also protects the ears with the wide frame on the side. The extended part at the bottom protects the throat. The curved padding at the forehead allows more padding to come in contact with the forehead for extra safety. Shin plates are used for shin protection. Low balls can sometimes hit the shins of a player, this could cause an incredible amount of pain, so wearing shin guards is also of great importance for umpires. Chest protectors are also very essential. Baseball umpire leg guards are specialized protective umpire equipment. Many referees do not wear a helmet but a cap during a match. All these baseball umpire gear is verry essential.
Chest protectors are made of hard plastic and PE plate protection. The backside of the chest protector is made of foam. Modern shin guards are made of many differing synthetic materials, metal or plastic. ABS plastic is used in most umpire face masks helmets. There is foam on the inside, which makes the helmet comfortable.