MLB Umpire Eric Cooper Dies at 52; Had Worked Yankees vs. Twins ALDS

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2019

Home plate umpire Eric Cooper stands near the mound during the third inning of a baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox, Friday, July 5, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Major League Baseball umpire Eric Cooper died at the age of 52.

"This is a very sad day across Major League Baseball," MLB’s statement read in part.

"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."

Mike Teevan shared the entire statement:

Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register noted Cooper became an umpire at the MLB level in 1999 and worked a number of important games, including during the 2014 World Series, the 2013 and 2009 World Baseball Classic, and the 2005 All-Star Game.

He worked during the American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins this season and was part of the crew for three NL & AL Wild Card Games, as well as 10 Division Series and League Championship Series.

Cooper was also behind the plate for three no-hitters—Hideo Nomo in 2001 and Mark Buehrle in 2007 and 2009, the latter of which was a perfect game—which was tied for the most among active MLB umpires.

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