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Derryl Cousins (August 18, 1946 – October 19, 2020) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB), who worked in the American League (AL) from 1979 to 1999, and umpired throughout both leagues from 2000 until his retirement following the 2012 season, ending his career as a crew chief.
Cousins was hired as a replacement umpire during the 1979 Major League umpires strike and was the last replacement umpire from that strike to officiate in the league at the time of his retirement.
Early life and career
Cousins was born in Fresno, California, on August 18, 1946. He graduated from El Segundo High School, and went on to study at El Camino College. He played minor league baseball for several seasons before entering umpiring. He started playing as a catcher with the Statesville Tigers of the Western Carolinas League. He proceeded to play for the Rocky Mount Leafs of the Carolina League in 1968, then with the High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms. He made a comeback with the Reno Aces of the California League in 1970.
Cousins wore uniform number 13, starting when the AL adopted numbers in 1980. After his retirement, that number was used by Todd Tichenor. Since Cousins was called up to the AL during the 1979 umpires' strike, he was not allowed to join the Major League Umpires Association, the former umpires' union which was headed by Richie Phillips. He was a member of the World Umpires Association, the new collective bargaining union of MLB umpires since 2000. Cousins was the last umpire to wear the American League's red blazer during its tenure in the AL (from 1973 to 1979), and also one of the few officials who wore the AL's red short-sleeved shirt in the mid to late 1990s.