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Eric Cooper (1966–2019), longtime Major League Baseball umpire

by Kirk Fox

Recently worked the Yankees-Twins AL division series.

Eric Cooper was a longtime Major League Baseball umpire who recently worked the American League division series between the Yankees and the Twins. Cooper started in the minor leagues in 1996, moving to the majors in 1999. Cooper umpired in four league championship series, the 2014 World Series, and was behind home plate for both of Mark Buehrle’s no-hitters, including his perfect game. He was remembered for his friendly personality by fellow umpires and players.

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Died: Sunday, October 20, 2019 (Who else died on October 20?)

Details of death: Died from a blood clot following knee surgery at the age of 52.

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What they said about him: “Eric Cooper’s friendly and familiar presence in the baseball community will be missed by all of us. He was a professional and gentleman whose passion for our game, the players and his fellow umpires was evident in the way he went about his work and life.” —Players union chief Tony Clark

“Such horrible news about Eric Cooper. Eric, was such a nice guy who I enjoyed talking with and always looked forward to seeing on our umpire crew list for the day. Sending my deepest condolences to his family, friends and his Major League Umpires colleagues. Sad day for the MLB.” —Cubs star Anthony Rizzo

“The White Sox send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Eric Cooper. Among his many career accomplishments, Cooper was behind the plate for both Mark Buehrle’s no-hitter and his perfect game.” —Chicago White Sox

Full obituary: Boston Globe

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