West elected president of umpires

West elected president of umpires

The Cowboy is now the president.

"Cowboy" Joe West, who has been a Major League umpire for more than 30 years, was elected president of the World Umpires Association in February, beating out the longtime incumbent, John Hirschbeck, according to a Monday report by The Associated Press.

West, 56, became a full-time National League umpire in 1978 and has worked three World Series, including the 2005 Fall Classic, where he served as crew chief.

West, who is nicknamed Cowboy Joe because of his second job -- country music singer and songwriter -- also has innovated the game with a chest protector for umpires known as the West Vest.

Hirschbeck, who was elected as the WUA's first president prior to the 2000 season, is slated to return to baseball next week after missing a year because of a neck injury.

Doug Miller is reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.