Joe West becomes MLB leader in games umpired

Joe West became the all-time MLB leader in most games umpired.
USA Today

Joe West further engrained himself in MLB history on Tuesday night, breaking the record for most games umpired. 

Once the game between the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals hit the fifth inning, West had officially umpired his 5,376th regular season game. The 68-year-old passed Hall of Fame umpire Bill Klem, who had held the record since 1941. 

“Cowboy Joe”, as he’s called, has been umpiring in the MLB since 1976. He has worked a number of infamous games, including Nolan Ryan’s fifth career no-hitter, Willie McCovey’s 500th career home run game, Felix Hernandez’s perfect game and worked during the game where Albert Pujols hit his 400th career home run. 

West has appeared in six World Series, 10 League Championship Series, eight League Division Series, three Wild Card games and three All-Star Games. 

Getting the nod to be behind the plate for his record-breaking game, West had plenty of friends, family and fellow umpires in attendance for his historic night, purchasing 116 tickets for the game


Whether fans agree or disagree with his umpiring skills, there is no doubting the significance of Joe West in MLB history. 


Bryan Murphy contributed to this story.