Sunday, October 20, 2019

Eric Cooper Dies at 52 Following Blood Clot

Less than two weeks removed from his 2019 AL Division Series assignment, MLB umpire Eric Cooper has died after a post-surgery blood clot, six years after Wally Bell’s heart attack during the 2013 postseason. Coop, who officiated the 2019 Twins-Yankees ALDS, was 52 years old.

Born on December 18, 1966 in Des Moines, Iowa, Cooper began his journey in Minor League Baseball in 1990's Appalachian League and officiated his first major league game in 1996, becoming a member of the big league staff on the American League side in 1999.

Cooper had the plate for three no-hitters during his MLB career, and officiated three Wild Card Games (2015-17) 10 Division Series (2003, 05-06, 08-09, 11-14, 2019), three League Championship Series (2004, 15-17), and the 2014 World Series.

He had 72 career MLB ejections over nearly 2,800 career regular season games. His last MLB game was in service as the second base umpire for New York's series-clinching victory in Minnesota on October 7; his crew chief for that series, Gary Cederstrom, will also chief the 2019 World Series.

Cooper often served his community through UMPS CARE Charities; here's Cooper speaking about his experience visiting a St. Louis-area hospital as part of UmpsCare in 2012.

For many, this will bring back memories of umpire Wally Bell's death during the 2013 postseason. Like Cooper, Bell had just officiated a Division Series nary two weeks prior to his own fatal heart attack.
Related PostMLB Umpire Wally Bell Dead at 48 (10/14/13).

The UEFL Appeals Board has awarded Cooper a posthumous 2019 World Series assignment. Tribute video as follows:

Alternate Link: CCS Tribute to MLB Umpire Eric Cooper (CCS)


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