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Joe West

Joe West – Crew Chief – 22


CAREER: Joe's 38-year career makes him the senior umpire among all active umpires and his 4,821 regular season games rank him third all-time, behind Bill Klem and Bruce Froemming...Joe was first in his class at the Umpire Development School in 1974 and started his career in the Western Carolina League (now the South Atlantic League) 1975, he started the season in the Carolina League and on June 1st was promoted to the Southern League, where he stayed until he was promoted to the American Association at the end of the 1976 season...he was then brought to the National League on September 13, 1976 to work his first Major League game at age 23...he worked eight Major League games that September and another 48 in 1977 before being hired full-time to the N.L. staff in the spring of 1981 he became the youngest umpire ever to work an NLCS game (Dodgers-Expos)...he's second all-time for most Postseason games umpired, behind current umpire Gerry Davis...Joe has worked with more than 130 Major League umpires, spanning exhibition games, regular season, All-Star Games and Postseason...he's worked with two Hall of Fame umpires: Nestor Chylak and Doug Harvey...according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Joe has been on the field with 53 Hall of Famers who were either umpires, players, managers or players who became managers...Joe has now worked for six of the 10 Commissioners in Major League Baseball history...Joe was re-elected to his fourth term as President of the umpires' union, the World Umpires Association.

PERSONAL: Born in Asheville, NC in October 1952...played football in college for East Carolina (safety on the freshman team) and was a three-year starting quarterback at Elon College (now Elon University), where he threw for 4,337 yards and 35 touchdowns...led three Elon teams to three Carolinas Conference Championships and was the MVP of the 1973 team that was ranked second in the nation after losing to an Abilene Christian team led by future Dallas Cowboys quarterback Clint Longley and Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame running back Wilbur Montgomery....Joe was inducted into the Elon Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, in the same class as legendary women's basketball coach Kay Yow...Joe designed all of Wilson Sporting Goods' "high-end" umpire equipment and because of his patent and trademarks of the chest protector used by more than 95 percent of the Major League Umpires, he started a company called West Vest, LLC and founded single-digit handicap, Joe participates in the "World Series of Golf" held at Pebble Beach each December.

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