Van Graflan umpired 1,034 major league games in his seven-year career. He also umpired in two World Series (1929 and 1932). In 1926, while umpiring in the minor leagues, Van Graflan was knocked out by a punch from manager Bud Ryan.
The manager was suspended for nearly a month.
Ruth"s home run in 1932 World Series
Van Graflan was behind the plate for Babe Ruth"s called shot in game three of the 1932 World Series. Though there is debate about whether Ruth deliberately pointed to the outfield to predict a home run, Van Graflan stated that Ruth looked over to the heckling Cubs bench and said, "Let him put this one over and I"ll knock it over the wall out there."
He died from injuries he sustained in an automobile accident in 1953.