Last night everyone’s favorite umpire, Joe West, worked his 5,163rd game. That, according to the Major League Baseball Umpires Association, tied him at second place on the all-time list for most games worked. Bruce Foremming worked that many as well. Tonight West will be on the field again and will take sole possession of second place.
As long as his health and desire holds up — and depending on the number off off-days he gets — he seems poised to break the all-time record really early in the 2020 season. That record is 5,369, help by Bill Klem. Kelm — known as “the Old Arbitrator,” who made the Hall of Fame in 1953 — has held that record since he retired following the 1941 season.
A lot of people have strong opinions about Joe West and I think it’s fair to say those opinions are well-earned. No one, however, can say that the guy didn’t show up for work, and that’s not nothing in this world.