MLB umps: West done, Ortiz is 1st staffer from Puerto Rico

Joe West
Posted at 3:14 PM, Feb 04, 2022

NEW YORK (AP) — Joe West has made it official, retiring from Major League Baseball after umpiring a record 5,460 regular-season games.

Roberto Ortiz became the first Puerto Rican-born umpire to join the big league staff in a series of retirements and promotions announced Friday by MLB.

Longtime umpires Gerry Davis, Kerwin Danley, Brian Gorman, and Fieldin Culbreth also have retired.

Ben May, Ryan Additon, Sean Barber, and John Libka joined Ortiz in promotions to the full-time MLB staff.

Laz Díaz, Greg Gibson, Marvin Hudson, Ron Kulpa, and Bill Welke were elevated to crew chiefs.

The 69-year-old West worked his first big league game in 1976.

His finale was on Oct. 6 when he worked home plate at Dodger Stadium for the NL wild-card game between Los Angeles and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Associated Press reported that on May 25, 2021, West broke NL umpire Bill Klem's record for regular-season games umpired when he worked the plate for the Chicago White Sox vs. Cardinals game.