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Joe West Biography


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Joe West Biography:

MLB Umpire: Crew Chief 

Major League Service Time: 32 Years

Career: Finished  first in the 1974 Umpire Development Class (now known as the Jim Evans  Academy)...began minor league career in the Western Carolinas League  and was selected to its Hall of Fame in 2002...worked the Carolina  League (1975), Southern League (1975-1976), the American Association  (1976-1977) and the Puerto Rican Winter League (1977)...worked first  Major League game in September 1976 at age 23...became full-time  National League staff member in April 1978...has worked two All-Star  Games (1987, 2005), five Division Series (1995, 2002, 05, 08-09),  seven League Championship Series (1981, 86, 88, 93, 96, 2003-04) and  four World Series (1992, 97, 2005, 09)...worked the San Diego round of  the 2009 World Baseball Classic...participated in MLB’s Umpire Camp  for Marines as an instructor in March 2009 in San Diego...was the  youngest umpire ever to work a NLCS in 1981 at age 28... Worked his  4,000 game July 30, 2009...his 88 post seasons games is 9th all  time...serves as the president of the World Umpires Association, which  recently agreed to a five-year pact with Major League Baseball through December  2014.  

Personal: Born in Asheville, NC  in October 1952...resides in Clermont, Florida...played college  football at East Carolina (safety on the freshman team) and was  three-year starting quarterback at Elon College (now Elon University),  where he threw for 4,337 yards and 35 touchdowns, leading the team to  three Carolinas Conference Championships and a number two national  ranking in NAIA Division 1 in 1973...was named MVP of that 1973 team  whose only loss was in the Championship Game (for NAIA  Division 1) to Abilene Christian, led by future Dallas Cowboys  quarterback Clint Longley and Pro Football Hall of Famer Wilbur  Montgomery......Joe was inducted into the Elon Sports Hall of Fame in  1986, part of the same class as legendary North Carolina State  basketball coach Kay Yow...designed all of Wilson Sporting Goods’  "high" end umpires equipment and owns the United States, Canadian,  Australian, and Japanese patent on the chest protector known worldwide  as the "West Vest.'' This endeavor prompted him to found majorleagueumpires.com.  His equipment is the only equipment  endorsed by Major League  Baseball for use by its umpires...Made a cameo  appearance on the television show "The Oldest Rookie" and was the  third base umpire in the spin off of "Police Squad's" movie "The Naked  Gun"... made guest appearances on the "American Nightly Scoreboard"  and "Best Damn Sports Show".

Singer/songwriter: Nicknamed "Cowboy Joe" or "Country Joe"  for his singing and songwriting, Joe emceed and sang with the "Living  Legends Golden Tour'' at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA  in March 2007. The show included Grand Ole Opry stars Jan Howard,  Freddie Hart, Stonewall Jackson, Jack Greene, Helen Cornelius and Jim  Ed Brown...Joe is a regular performer at "John A's Little Palace" in  Nashville, TN and has often performed with Ray and Ron Herndon at  "Handle Bar J's" in Scottsdale, AZ...Joe has performed with country  music stars Mickey Gilley, Johnny Lee, Merle Haggard, Bonnie Owens,  T.G. Sheppard, Box Car Willie (for whom he was a pallbearer in  1999), Randy Corner, Jimmie C. Newman, Marty Martel, Ron Gaddis, Kent  Goodson, Wayne Money, Jon Potter and rock and roll artists "Skunk"  Baxter, Jason Scheff (Chicago), Rick Seratte (White Snake) and Les  Dudek (Allman Brothers)...Joe has also performed with world-renowned  bands such as "The Statesiders" (Mel Tillis's band), "The Jones Boys"  (George Jones' Band), "The Gems" (Jim Ed Brown's band), "The Red Rose  Express" and "The Urban Cowboy Band" (Mickey Gilley's bands), "The  Bayou City Beats" (voted the No. 1 club band in America), "The Super  Grit Cowboy Band," "The Nashville Now Band," and he performed at the  Grand Ole Opry with Charlie McCoy and "The Hee Haw  Band''...Joe has two albums "Blue Cowboy" and "Diamond  Dreams" which are marketed by Good and Western Records (available at  goodandwestern.com and cowboyjoewest.com)...In 2009 Arbors Records had  Joe perform on two tracks ("Promised Land" and "Grain of Salt")in  their first ever endeavor into Country Music on the album  "Diggin' Up Bones" featuring Bucky Pizzarelli (world  famous jazz guitarist) and his son John Pizzarelli(who just received  the Ella Fitzgerald award for 2009)...Joe is a  member of the Celebrity Players Golf Tour and participates in the  "World Series of Golf" held at Pebble Beach the first of December  every year. Buy his CDs, "Blue Cowboy"  and "Diamond Dreams" Here!


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