Former MLB Umpire Derryl Cousins Dead at 74

Georgia Slater
·2-min read

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Longtime major league umpire Derryl Cousins, whose accomplished career spanned more than three decades, has died. He was 74.

The former official died at home Monday after battling cancer, his brother Craig confirmed, according to ESPN.

Derryl first stepped behind the plate in 1979 during the umpire's strike and stayed on through the 2012 MLB season.

During his time as an umpire, Derryl called a slew of iconic games, including the World Series in 2005, 1999 and 1988. He also worked five division series, seven league championship series, and three All-Star Games, ESPN said.

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Derryl was well-known by many pitchers as well.

"I just know that as an umpire, they said he was someone who pitchers liked," Craig said in a statement to ESPN. "When you came to the plate, you better be ready to swing."

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Derryl grew up playing baseball and worked odd jobs after first getting out of school, his brother noted.

"It just wasn't working for him," his brother recalled of Derryl's early jobs, prompting him to try his hand at umping.

"He got some money together, decided he'd try to become an umpire and it just clicked for him," Craig said. "He loved everything about being an umpire. He loved the life."

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The MLB also confirmed the tragic news ahead of Game 1 of the 2020 World Series Tuesday.

"MLB is deeply saddened by the passing of 34-year Major League Umpire Derryl Cousins at 74," the organization wrote on Twitter.

"The Californian worked nearly 4,500 games," the league added. "He was behind the plate for the White Sox clincher in '05 & the '08 ASG at Yankee Stadium."

The family plans to hold a memorial service for Derryl next spring.