Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Retired AL Umpire Ken Kaiser Dead at 72

Former American League umpire Ken Kaiser has died. He was 72.

Retired AL Umpire Ken Kaiser passed away.
An AL arbiter from 1977 to 1999, when his was one of the many resignations accepted by Major League Baseball, Kaiser officiated 2,815 regular season games, three Division Series (1981, 96, 97), four League Championship Series (1980, 88, 93, 95), and two World Series (1987, 97). He also served as second base umpire for the 1991 All-Star Game.

Kaiser ejected 75 players and managers during his 23-year Major League career, from his first ejections of Ken Henderson and Balor Moore for fighting on September 21, 1977, to his final heave-ho of then-Anaheim Angels Manager Terry Collins in July 1998.

Prior to making it to the AL, Rochester, New York-native Kaiser took an off-season gig as a professional wrestler known as "The Hatchet."

Kaiser reportedly had been in poor health recently and was diabetic. We would expect a black memorial "KK" patch in remembrance of Kaiser to be added to umpire uniforms later this season. There are presently three other deceased umpires whose lives are being memorialized in such a fashion; Kaiser is the fourth former American League umpire to pass away since the 2016 World Series (Mark Johnson, Russ Goetz, Steve Palermo, Kaiser).

Black Memorial Patches Currently Worn on MLB Umpire Sleeves (+ Kaiser):
1) MJ - Mark Johnson. Passed away October 26, 2016 at the age of 65. Umpired in the American League (1979-99).
2) RG - Russ Goetz. Passed away March 15, 2017 at the age of 86. Umpired in the American League (1968-83).
3) SP - Steve Palermo. Passed away May 13, 2017 at the age of 67. Umpired in the American League (1976-91).
4) KK - Ken Kaiser. Passed away August 9, 2017 at the age of 72. Umpired in the American League (1977-99).


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