Nelson and Hickox set to retire as MLB umpires


NEW YORK — Jeff Nelson and Ed Hickox are retiring as umpires and were replaced Monday on the major league staff by Ryan Wills and Clint Vondrak.

Nelson, 58, made his big league debut in 1997, was added to the National League staff two years later and worked the World Series in 2005, 2009, 2014 and 2018.

Hickox, 61, umpired for 19 big league seasons. He made his major league debut in 1990, quit in 1999 as part of a failed mass resignation strategy, returned as a reserve umpire in 2005 and regained a staff job two years later.

Wills and Vondrak have been fill-in big league umpires since 2020. The 36-year-old Wills has been a minor league umpire since 2011 and had worked 402 major league games. Vondrak, 34, has been a minor league umpire since 2012 and worked 286 big league games.

Chris Guccione was promoted to a crew chief, filling the vacancy created by Nelson’s retirement. The 49-year-old worked his first big league game in 2000 and has been on the full-time staff since 2009. He was part of the crew for the 2016 and 2020 World Series.

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