Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Joe West Passes Froemming for 2nd Most Games Ump'd

Congratulations to MLB's senior umpire Joe West, who writes a new page of history this week in Minnesota as he passes Bruce Froemming for the number two spot on baseball's Most Games Umpired List with 5,163 regular season games officiated.

Bill Klem, long considered the grandfather of professional umpiring, and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, holds the number one spot on the list, with 5,372 regular season games umpired and, come Wednesday when West passes Froemming, is the only official standing between West and the "Most Games Umpired" title.

West already holds the "Most X Umpired" title as it relates to Most Years Umpired (currently 41) and Most World Series Games Umpired Amongst Active Umpires (currently 34). Fellow veteran crew chief Gerry Davis holds the Most Postseason Games Umpired [All-Time] record (presently 143, compared to West's 123).

West's 176 career ejections is also the most on the active roster (e.g., Klem had 305 in his career).

At West's current rate of approximately 125 to 130 games-per-season, assuming a consistent schedule without interruption, he would pass Klem and achieve 5,373 games officiated at some point during the 2020 MLB season, likely before the All-Star Break.

2018 is West's 41st season in the major leagues, including his National League debut year of 1976 (eight games officiated), and excluding the 2000 and 2001 seasons, when West was absent as one of 22 umpires to lose his job during the 1999 MLUA mass resignation event.
Related PostWUA Rebrands as MLB Umpires Launch MLBUA (8/13/18).

By contrast, Froemming spent 37 years on the NL and MLB field from 1971 through 2007 (he did not lose his job in 1999), although Froemming didn't have to contend with losing out on games due to expanded instant replay and the Replay Review room.

SIDEBAR: No Replay For Joe? Interestingly enough, West's retrosheet numbers of 128.75 games-per-season suggest that he is staying on the field and officiating games instead of spending a week or two at MLBAM's replay headquarters in New York.

Related: West ump'd his 5,000th game in 2017.
Other staff umpires, for instance, have averaged 110-120 games-per-season since 2014—while comparable crew chiefs have averaged up to 122 games per season since 2014 (Gerry Davis, averaged 117 games-per-season since 2014...running down the list of seniority, the numbers were as follows: Dana DeMuth (94*), Gary Cederstrom (113*), Jerry Layne (88*), Brian Gorman (96*), Jeff Kellogg (104), Tom Hallion (116), Mike Winters (109*), Fieldin Culbreth (112), Ted Barrett (121), Jeff Nelson (122), Bill Miller (121), Jerry Meals (121), Larry Vanover (113*), Mike Everitt (112*), Paul Emmel (117), Sam Holbrook (115^), and Mark Wegner (118)—compared to West's 129 games-per-season average.

*Indicates Disabled List appearances or other absences influenced the numbers. Because the sample size of four seasons is so small, the outliers were not excluded unless they were zero. Even so, the maximum number of seasonal games worked by a non-Joe West crew chief from 2014-17 was 127 games [Sam Holbrook, 2017]). West's totals exceeded the non-West crew chief maximum twice (124 in 2014, 138 in 2015, 121 in 2016, and 132 in 2017).

^Holbrook's seasonal totals exclude 2014 (zero games officiated).

H/T: @MLBUA first reported this story.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Joe West officially passes Bruce Froemming on the all-time list (PIT)


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