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Joe West celebrated a big night on Tuesday, but baseball fans don’t give a damn.
Umpire Joe West set a new MLB record for most games worked, but that didn’t stop baseball fans from airing their grievances.
The Chicago White Sox honored West with a special presentation on the jumbotron before tonight’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Fans in attendance at Guaranteed Rate Field responded by booing relentlessly.
West, for his part, simply chuckled at the show of appreciation or lack thereof. Perhaps he took it as a badge of honor.
With 5,376 MLB games under his belt, West knows better than anybody: umpires can’t please everybody. Being booed just comes with the job.
Umpire Joe West booed on historic night
“Cowboy Joe” has called more MLB games than any other ump. If you consider baseball’s 162-game calendar, West’s game log is equivalent to 33 full MLB seasons. The North Carolina native is, therefore, no stranger to being booed or having to make tough and sometimes controversial calls.
No doubt White Sox fans were recalling some of those instances tonight while jeering the 75-year-old in front of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and at least 130 other distinguished guests.
Here’s one of many possible examples White Sox faithful won’t soon forget:
Of course, there was also a memorable incident involving former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, whom West infamously ejected back in 2010.
In the heat of the moment, West has seen and heard it all from managers, players and fans alike.
When he stood behind home plate tonight, West surpassed Hall of Famer Bill Klem’s 80-year-old umpiring record. Some say that it is almost mathematically impossible for West’s record to get broken in the modern day MLB.
One thing is for sure: no matter how many games you umpire, you’ll never be able to win over all the baseball fans.