Friday, December 3, 2021

2021 UEFL Award for Gera Honorable Umpire - Joe West

Joe West wins the UEFL's 2021 Bernice Gera Honorable Umpire Award [2020: Angel Hernandez & West].
Voting Results: Joe West (23.6%), Tom Hallion (8.3%), Gerry Davis (6.9%).

Joe West is the UEFL's 2021 Bernice Gera Honorable Umpire of the Year.

As baseball's Blue Cowboy hangs up his mask and WestVest for the final time on an MLB field, he first stops to collect the UEFL's Bernice Gera Honorable Umpire of the Year Award.

After setting the MLB record for most regular season games officiated in major league history back in May by first tying Bill Klem at 5,375 and then surpassing The Old Arbiter, West earned himself a postseason plate assignment in a winner take all game—the NL Wild Card Game—and promptly proceeded to give as a farewell gift to baseball a typical West postseason performance: a 98.8% game, or 164/166.

In voting for West's repeat Honorable Umpire nod (2020-21) this year, UEFL'ers cited both West's milestone season as well as West's numerous contributions to the game of baseball from his NL debut in 1976, some 45 years ago.

Retrosheet gives West a final career tally of 5,460 regular season games officiated, 4 Wild Card assignments (3 Games + 1 Series [2 games] = 5 total games), 8 Division Series (33 games), 10 League Championship Series (60 games), 6 World Series (34 games), and 3 All-Star Games. West's career ejection total reached 196.

West will be eligible for Hall of Fame candidacy six months following retirement, which, depending on how long the owners-players dispute and lockout lasts, may be a little while. Thus, while West may be realistically off the field, he (and several other umpires this year) is not actually "retired" just yet.

UEFL Awards History, Joe West
Honorable Umpire of the Year: 2009, 2020
Ejection of the Year: 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018

The next postseason award to be announced will be Promising Umpire of the Year.


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