Major League Baseball Umpire Eric Cooper passed away on Sunday, October 20 at the age of 52. The MLB will be honoring him during the World Series.
Cooper had just finished his 21st season as a big-league umpire, which included umpiring the recent American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins.
He began his career as a minor league umpire in 1990 after graduating from Iowa State University before begging his major league career nine years after his minors debut.
Some accomplishments of his include being behind the plate for three no-hitters. They included both former White Sox ace Mark Buerhle’s no-hitters in 2007 and 2009 and Hideo Nomo’s no-hitter when he was pitching for the Boston Red Sox.
He also had home plate duties for the great Cal Ripken Jr.’s final game of his career.
In addition to umpiring the 2005 All-Star games, he umpired 3 Wild Card games, 10 Division Series, four League Championship Series, and the 2014 World Series.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement on Cooper’s sudden death.
“This is a very sad day across Major League Baseball. Eric Cooper was a highly respected umpire, a hard worker on the field and a popular member of our staff. He also served as a key voice of the MLB Umpires Association on important issues in our game. Eric was a consistent presence in the Postseason throughout his career, including in this year’s Division Series between the Yankees and the Twins. He was known for his professionalism and his enthusiasm, including for our international events. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Eric’s family, friends and all of his fellow Major League Umpires. We will honor Eric’s memory during the World Series. Eric will be missed by the entire Baseball family.”