Thursday, December 23, 2010

Umpire Chuck Meriwether Biography

Julius Edward "Chuck" Meriwether
(born June 30, 1956 in Nashville, Tennessee) is an umpire in Major League Baseball. After working in the American League from 1988 to 1999, he has umpired in both leagues since 2000. He originally wore number 32, in 2001 and 2002 he wore number 22 but in 2004 switched to number 14 after offering veteran Joe West his original number when he was rehired..

After graduating from Athens State College in 1978, he first umpired in the minor leagues in 1979, reaching the American Association in 1986 before continuing up to the AL. He officiated in the 2004 World Series and 2007 World Series, and in the All-Star Game in 1996 and 2002. He has also umpired in the 2003 National League Championship Series and 2006 American League Championship Series, and in seven Division Series (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007). He was the third base umpire for the single-game playoff to decide the NL's 2007 wild card team. He was also the third base umpire for David Cone's perfect game on July 18, 1999. Most recently he was the second base umpire for Mark Buehrle's perfect game on July 23, 2009.

On joining the league's staff, he became only the fifth African American umpire in major league history, and the first in the AL since Emmett Ashford retired in 1970. Coincidentally, Meriwether was behind the plate when the Boston Red Sox – the last major league team to integrate its roster – won its first World Series in 86 years in 2004, and he was again behind the plate when they won the Series three years later in 2007.

Before the start of the 2010 season, fellow MLB umpire Mike Dimuro wrote on his "Umps Care Blog" that Merriweather will sit out the 2010 season on the Disabled List and then retire following the 2010 season. His son, Chris Meriwether, is a walk-on point guard for the Vanderbilt University basketball team.

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