Umpire Tim Welke is retiring, the Associated Press is reporting. Welke had his left knee replaced in January and will need his right knee replaced in June. “I know my body couldn’t go any farther. It’s a young person’s job. It’s the circle of life,” he said.
Welke umpired in the American League for 16 seasons between 1984-99. The 2000 collective bargaining agreement allowed umpires to work both leagues, so he was no longer league-specific. Welke has been a crew chief since 2000 as well. His younger brother Bill is still working and he may switch his uniform number from 52 to 3 to honor his brother, per the AP.
Welke worked four World Series, seven League Championship Series, eight Division Series, and three All-Star Games, including last year’s in Cincinnati. Coincidentally, he would be on the receiving end of a Joey Votto outburst later that season.
We wish Welke well with his upcoming knee replacement and we hope he enjoys retirement.