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Umpire Joe West works 5,000th major league game

Home plate umpire Joe West took the field before the Rockies played the Diamondbacks at Coors Field on Tuesday.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

DENVER — Umpire Joe West worked his 5,000th major league game Tuesday night at Coors Field.

West was behind the plate for a matchup between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. The 64-year-old, nicknamed ‘‘Cowboy’’ Joe, is the third umpire to work at least 5,000 games, joining Hall of Famer Bill Klem (5,375) and Bruce Froemming (5,163). West has said he’d like to pass Klem, which would mean working through at least 2020.

West made his major league debut as a 23-year-old on Sept. 14, 1976, at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium in a game between the Braves and Houston Astros. He joined the NL staff full time in 1978. His 40 seasons umpiring in the majors are the most by any umpire.


West has also worked two All-Star Games, 123 postseason games and six World Series, including 2016.