Jim McKean

From BR Bullpen

James Gilbert McKean

Biographical Information[edit]

Jim McKean was an umpire in the Florida State League (1970-June, 1971), Eastern League (June, 1971-May, 1972), and International League (May, 1972-1973). He was then an American League umpire from 1974 to 1999 and was part of the consolidated major league umpiring staff in 2000 and 2001. He missed most of the 1979 season due to an injury but still umpired his first World Series that year. He returned to the Fall Classic in 1985 and 1995 and also worked three All-Star Games.

McKean also played in the Canadian Football League for five years, appearing in the 1967 Grey Cup. That was a positive at a time when the two leagues liked to recruit huge umpires, built like football players. He was a quarterback in high school, but was mainly a punter as a pro. He considered becoming a National Hockey League referee before attending umpiring school. After his retirement, he became an umpire supervisor, serving until 2010. He was then an umpiring analyst for ESPN.

In January 2019, he passed away in the Tampa Bay area, in Florida, where he had settled down in retirement. He was 73.

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