Cowboy Joe is headed for No. 1, closing in on the highest spot on the chart.
Joe West is poised to interrupt baseball’s umpiring document when the St. Louis Cardinals go to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday evening. West is about to work dwelling plate for his 5,376th regular-season recreation, snapping a tie with Corridor of Famer Invoice Klem.
The colourful West, who turns 69 on Oct. 31, is maybe probably the most well-known umpire in main league historical past, recognized for his memorable run-ins with a number of gamers and managers over time, to go together with at the very least one government.
He additionally fashions himself as a rustic music singer and songwriter, resulting in the nicknames “Cowboy Joe” and “Nation Joe.”
West started his huge league profession at age 23, doing a handful of video games within the final month of the 1976 season. His first plate job included Corridor of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro throwing to younger Braves catcher Dale Murphy.
He has labored the World Collection six occasions. He has 193 profession ejections — and West himself has run afoul of Main League Baseball once in a while throughout his lengthy profession.
Throughout a 1990 brawl, West body-slammed pitcher Dennis Cook dinner to the bottom. After he was thrown out by West throughout a 2018 recreation, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson mentioned: “I haven’t got a lot to say about him. All people is aware of he is horrible.”
Final yr, West ejected Washington Nationals common supervisor Mike Rizzo from an upstairs suite in Atlanta for yelling and complaining.
West was suspended for 3 days with out pay in 2017 after he mentioned in an interview that former Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was baseball’s largest complainer. West mentioned he was joking, and Beltre agreed.
He was awarded $500,000 final month in a defamation swimsuit towards former catcher Paul Lo Duca. In his swimsuit, amongst different issues, West contended Lo Duca made false allegations that may harm his possibilities of being elected to the Corridor of Fame. There are presently 10 umpires within the Corridor.
West has his share of followers, too.
On the 2017 All-Star Sport, slugger Nelson Cruz got here to the plate, pulled out his cellphone and had catcher Yadier Molina take an image of Cruz and plate umpire West. Requested why, Cruz mentioned: “He is a legend, you understand?”
Earlier than he grew to become a giant league umpire, West was a star quarterback at Elon within the early Nineteen Seventies. He additionally was a catcher when he performed baseball rising up in North Carolina.
The Asheville native was inducted into the Elon Sports activities Corridor of Fame in 1986 and the North Carolina Sports activities Corridor of Fame in 2018.
A number of years in the past, West had larynx most cancers, underwent radiation and continued his profession.