Longtime MLB umpire Rick Reed, who appeared in 'For Love of the Game,' dies at 70

Rick Reed spent decades as an MLB umpire. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
Rick Reed spent decades as an MLB umpire. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

Longtime MLB umpire Rick Reed died Thursday. He was 70.

Reed — who was born in Detroit — began his umpiring career in 1979. He became a crew chief in 1999, and remained active until 2009. Following his retirement, Reed worked in the commissioner’s office observing umpires. Throughout his career, Reed umpired seven different postseasons — including the 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves.

On top of umpiring, Reed also worked as an actor. His biggest role came in “For Love of the Game,” a baseball movie starring Kevin Costner. Reed played the home plate umpire in the film.

Veteran crew chief Ted Barrett called Reed a “mentor and a friend,” according to the Associated Press.

“I worked my first game in the big leagues with him and he took me to lunch the next day. We didn’t even talk about umpiring, he talked about being a husband and father while doing this job,” veteran crew chief Ted Barrett, whose son also is a professional umpire, texted to the Associated Press.

“I also worked many years with Rick as my crew chief. He was a great umpire and he was a leader of men,” Barrett said. “Rick groomed many of us to be crew chiefs. He took an interest in our families and invited us into his family. His wife, Cindy, became a trusted confidante to our wives. Rick was more than just a crew chief, he was a mentor and friend.”

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