In the middle of work stoppage that for six weeks keeps the activities in the Major League Baseball (MLB)one of its historic protagonists has decided to step aside, we are talking about the veteran referee Joe Westwho announced his retirement after a 45-year career.
The 69-year-old Asheville, North Carolina native made his major league debut in September 1976, and stayed in competition for nearly half a century, becoming the umpire with more parties directed in history, with 5,640 games.
Within his long career, West had the opportunity to dispense justice in three All-Star Gamessix World Series and 21 Playoffsand also, as president of the MLB Umpires Association (WUA), he helped negotiate the largest arbitration contract in history, being the one with the highest salary per season, of $432,800 dollars.
MLB’s oldest referee retires
However, and under the current global context resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic, the experienced referee is an outspoken denier of the health situation, to the point that when the 2020 Major League season began, he made his opinion clear.
“I do not believe in my heart that all these deaths were due to the coronavirus. I think it may have contributed to some of the deaths.”said Joe West, who broke the record for Bill Klem on May 26, 2021, for the game between Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.