Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Harvey Elected to Hall of Fame

Long time National League umpire Doug Harvey has been elected to the Hall of Fame. Harvey umpired in five World Series (1968, 1974, 1981, 1984 and 1988), serving as crew chief in 1984 and 1988, and in six All-Star Games (1963, 1964, 1971, 1977, 1982 and 1992). He umpired in the National League Championship Series nine times – 1970(Games 2-3), 1972, 1976, 1980, 1983, 1984 (Game 5), 1986, 1989 and 1991.Image Veteran umpire Joe West said “it is a long time coming and we are very proud of him.”

Long time umpire Mike Reilly said this of Harvey, "Doug Harvey was someone I always respected coming up in the minor leagues. I remember my first World Series assignment was in 1984 and I was honored to be chosen to umpire a World Series. Then I found out that I would be umpiring with Doug, it was really special and an honor. It is one of my best umpiring memories."

Senior umpire Ed Montague said of Harvey’s selection, "I am glad the hall recognized Doug, I am real proud of him. Doug set the bar high along with umpires like Shag Crawford and Paul Runge. When I look at Doug I think Hall of Fame."

The WUA and its members salute Doug on this most prestigious lifetime achievement award.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Umpires, MLB Agree on Deal

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball ensured its first decade of labor peace since the 1960s by agreeing to a five-year contract with umpires that runs through 2014.

The deal announced Wednesday, which is subject to ratification next month, was the second straight achieved without acrimony since a failed mass resignation in 1999 led to 22 umpires losing their jobs.

"I think both sides acted very professionally in trying to work through a tough time, and we ground it out," said World Umpires Association president Joe West, who lost his job in the 1999 dispute and regained it three years later.

Owners are expected to vote on the deal when they meet in the Phoenix area on Jan. 14, and umpires are set for balloting four days later.

Stung by a series of missed calls during the playoffs, management sought increased flexibility on postseason assignments in the new agreement. MLB asked that the prohibition be lifted against umpires working the World Series in consecutive years, a request that some of the union membership had trouble with.

Negotiators said they wouldn't discuss specifics of the deal before ratification, but it is hard to imagine owners agreeing to a contract that didn't include the removal of that restriction.

"As president of our union, my first responsibility is to the game of baseball, my second responsibility is to my profession, and my third responsibility is to do what in my heart I think is right," West said, speaking generally.

"When I say baseball, that doesn't mean the commissioner's office, and when I say umpiring or my profession of umpiring, that doesn't mean the union. ... Whenever we came to something that was tough in contract, we both tried to abide by those rules."

The deal leaves the collective bargaining agreement with players as baseball's next labor negotiation. That expires in December 2011 but both sides seem intent on an early start for bargaining.

"I do believe, me personally, that these negotiations -- the umpires and the players, frankly -- are more complicated than a lot of collective bargaining agreements and that the parties are well served by getting started early," said Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president of labor relations.

New players' association head Michael Weiner had a similar view.

"I would expect bargaining will begin well in advance of the termination date," he said.

The umpires' relationship with management has mirrored that of the players, leading to work stoppages in 1970, 1978, 1979, 1984, 1990, 1991 and 1995. After the 1999 mass resignations backfired, Richie Phillips' Major League Umpires Association was replaced by a new union, the WUA, which negotiated a pair of labor contracts under union president John Hirschbeck. West succeeded Hirschbeck in February.

After a series of eight work stoppages from 1972-95, players and owners reached agreements without strikeouts or lockouts in 2002 and 2006.

The umpires' deal had been set to expire Dec. 31.

"The leadership and professionals of the WUA did an outstanding job working with us to try to get an agreement," Manfred said. "I think we're in a period of time where both sides recognize that our best interests are served by reaching a deal."

- Associated Press

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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It’s the top of the line developed by Major League umpire Joe West, manufactured for maximum protection! It’s simple: The Platinum fits better! It conforms at your shoulders, and enhanced side pads add comfort and protection. Worn by numerous Major League Umpires.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MLB ump takes part in charity event

BALTIMORE -- The day was gray, but the cause was good.

Major League umpire Chris Guccione and a supporting cast of caring runners participated in the 2009 Baltimore Run for Bears on Saturday, an endeavor that raised $26,000 for the UMPS CARE Charities initiative. The program is designed to help fund visits and Build-A-Bear Workshops to children's hospitals around the country.

"It's very important to me. Not only do I love to run, but I also have a chance to give back to children and put a smile on their faces," said Guccione. "I'm in position to do that, and I was thrilled to fly out here and take some of my time to give back. My wife, Amy, also came out for the trip, and she ran the first leg of the team marathon."

Umpires have visited 41 hospitals in the three years of the program and expect to visit 12 more during the 2010 season. Samuel Dearth, the executive director of the UMPS CARE Charities, said the big league umpires choose the programs they benefit and they also do most of the fundraising.

"The good part about it is they get to put the money to use," he said. "The Baltimore Run for Bears specifically raises money for the children's hospital program. The umpires visit children's hospitals all across the country during the baseball season and provide Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for kids with cancer and other serious illnesses."

"It's a brief visit," added Guccione, "and it gives children that are in pain a little moment to smile. They get to pick from three or four stuffed animals and they get to pick out the outfits to dress them in. It's just 10 minutes that you spend with a child, but it's 10 minutes where they can forget about everything else in the world. And that's what's important. And then they have a toy they can give to anybody, or they can keep it as a souvenir."

Guccione, who raised more than $2,000 with his wife, flew in from Denver to participate in the event. And it was extra special for him, because he had visited hospitals in Baltimore and Fairfax, Va., over the last two seasons. Guccione, an avid outdoorsman, said the program enabled him to do something he loves for a cause he supports.

"I came out here and I treated it as a workout," he said of his 7.4-mile jaunt. "But I flew halfway across the country to do it. It wasn't that grueling of a run, but I did push myself a little more today because I was trying to beat a personal goal of mine. I wanted to do it in under an hour, which I did, so I'm happy with that."

Several runners joined the fund-raising effort, and they had a choice to run in a team relay, a 5K, a half-marathon or the full marathon. The course started right outside Camden Yards and wound through the Inner Harbor and parts of Fells Point. Guccione, who runs five miles a day five times a week, said the charity helps keep life in perspective.

"Sometimes you worry about the travel or whatever," he said, "and then you think back and say, 'Is it really that tough compared to this small child that's got leukemia?' It brings you back down to earth."

-Spencer Fordin

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2009 World Series Umpire Crew

We would like to congratulate the umpires of the 2009 World Series. It begins October 28th in New York City between the Yankees and the Phillies.

Gerry Davis (Crew Chief)
Jeff Nelson
Brian Gorman
Mike Everitte
Dana DeMuth
Joe West

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

ALCS and NLCS Umpire Crews

We would like to congratulate all of the umpires who were elected to work in the American League Championship Series games and the National League Championship Series games. All umpires are listed below.

Randy MarshTim McClelland
Bruce DreckmanLaz Diaz
Sam HolbrookBill Miller
Ted BarrettJerry Layne
Tom Hallion Fieldin Culbreath
Gary Cedarstrom Dale Scott

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Original West Vest Chest Protector

The "Original" West Vest chest protector has interconnecting plates that make the vest accommodate more than one umpire. By reconfiguring the plates a person who is 5'7" can wear the same vest as a larger frame 6'4" umpire. There are Major League Umpires who have worn this vest for their entire careers in the Major Leagues...Some for more than ten years. This chest protector has open cell foam covered by high density plastic that has been tested on professional football players for strength and durability. This protector is available at a great price.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Three Major League Umpires Reach Milestone

On August 14th Dale Scott reached the milestone followed four days later by Tim Tschida and on August 30th Bob Davidson joined the 3,000 Game Club.

West Vest and all umpires congratulate all three of these great umpires for reaching this tremendous milestone.

Divisional Championship Series Umpires

We would like to congratulate all of the umpires who were elected to work in the Divisional Championship Series Games. All umpires are listed below. * CC - Means crew chief

Cardinals @ Dodgers

Rockies @ Phillies

Twins @ Yankees

Red Sox @ Angels

Dana DeMuth

Davis (CC)

Tschida (CC)

Joe West










Ron Kulpa





Jim Joyce