Chicago Cubs Legend Fergie Jenkins Got In One Last Jab On His Longtime Rival

Though they are on the field at the same time for the entirety of a 162-game season, it's not a secret that there can sometimes be some animosity between the players of the game and the ones that are there to officiate it. Major League Baseball's umpires must call the plays as they see them, sometimes in contradiction to what the camera captures or what the players witness.

Umpiring a game requires not only a vast knowledge of the rules of the game but also quick attention to detail and the ability to make lightning-fast calls with stunning accuracy. But, like the uniformed player that comes to the plate and the ones on the rest of the field, they are only human. When a player makes a mistake, they might get a jeer or two, but the game goes on. When an umpire is suspected of blowing a call, tempers can sometimes flare and result in players (and coaches) acting aggressively and getting ejected, fined, or suspended from play.

Major League pitcher Fergie Jenkins had issues develop over his years on the pitching mound with one umpire in particular. That man was Joe West, who The New York Post reports had umpired more major league games than any umpire in history. The Tylt refers to West as one of the most controversial umpires in the game, citing his "inappropriate" comments toward players and his unabashed public remarks. When his retirement was officially announced in early 2022 (via Sports Illustrated), Jenkins didn't hold back one last insult toward the man who used to call his balls and strikes. 

Jenkins compared West to a popular musician

When the news of West's official retirement made headlines in February 2022, both fans and players were seen reacting to the news on social media. One player that weighed in on the news was retired pitcher Fergie Jenkins. And when Jenkins went to Twitter that day to share his thoughts, he showed that his verbal fastballs still had some zing to them.

Jenkins' tweet read, "Whenever he called games I pitched, I used to call him Ray Charles," followed by two smiley-faced emojis that were adorned with large sunglasses. That last jab at West was retweeted more than 3,000 times and received more than 40,000 likes. Clearly, a lot of Jenkins' fans shared his sentiments.

Charles was a blind musician whose vision loss was sometimes fodder for barbs and jabs from comedians and other entertainers. But with the monstrous successes and wealth Charles was able to generate over a wildly successful recording career, perhaps it was the multi-Grammy Award winner who was laughing all the way to the bank (via IMDb).

Looking back on baseball history, Jenkins was not the only member of the Chicago Cubs ball club that had an issue with West. One player, in particular, stands out as having an epic meltdown after he felt that West blew a pitching call.

Jenkins was not the only Chicago Cubs player to have had a beef with West

The Deseret News reports on an incident dating back to the summer of 1991 when the Chicago Cubs were hosting the Cincinnati Reds. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Andre Dawson was called out on strikes on a final pitch that was arguably out of the strike zone. After a few heated words were exchanged between Dawson and plate umpire West, West ejected the outfielder from the game. Dawson's response was to bump the official with his chest, then storm off into the dugout. Moments later, an irate Dawson began throwing bats from the Cubs' dugout onto the field. Fans began getting into disarray, and a storm of cups and other debris was thrown onto the field from the stands.

Cubs announcer Harry Caray was in the booth during the incident, revealing to those at home that West gave the order to clear officials from the field during the long disruption. The grounds crew was able to get the massive amount of litter from fans picked up quickly, and received a big hand from the fans (via YouTube). 

For his tantrum, Dawson was fined $1,000 and suspended for a single game. Fansided reports that Dawson wrote "donation for the blind" on the check he wrote MLB to pay his fine.