Veteran umpire Eric Cooper dies at 52
Jason O. Watson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Longtime MLB umpire Eric Cooper has died at the age of 52.

Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement Sunday to address Cooper's passing after a 21-year career as a major-league umpire.

"This is a very sad day across Major League Baseball," Manfred said. "Eric Cooper was a highly respected umpire, a hard worker on the field, and a popular member of our staff. He also served as a key voice of the MLB Umpires Association on important issues in our game.

"Eric was a consistent presence in the postseason throughout his career, including in this year's division series between the Yankees and the Twins. He was known for his professionalism and his enthusiasm, including for our international events."

Cooper's memory will be honored during this year's World Series, Manfred added.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark also issued a statement on Sunday.

"Eric Cooper's friendly and familiar presence in the baseball community will be missed by all of us. He was a professional and gentleman whose passion for our game, the players, and his fellow umpires was evident in the way he went about his work and life. ... Players extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends."

Over the course of his career, Cooper served as the home plate umpire for three no-hitters, two of which were thrown by Mark Buehrle. He also worked the Hideo Nomo no-hitter in 2001. The Iowa native umped several wild-card games, 10 division series, four league championships, and one World Series.

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Veteran umpire Eric Cooper dies at 52
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