Kerry Wood

Controversial umpire Joe West closing in on historic baseball milestone

Controversial umpire Joe West closing in on historic baseball milestone

As baseball milestones go, it's safe to say few fans are aware that Joe West is creeping up on his 5,000th regular-season game.

Umpires come and go, and no one pays much attention to them when they're gone. But West came and stayed, even though some probably hoped he would have left a long time ago.

The man known to his friends as "Country Joe" has made a few enemies in his 39 years of umpiring in the majors, but keeps on chugging along.

Sometime in the next few weeks, West will become the third umpire in major league history to reach the 5,000 regular-season games mark, following in the paths of Bill Klem (5,369 games) and Bruce Froemming...

67°