McKenzie had umpired the most games in Northwoods League history
Rochester, Minn. – It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that the Northwoods League announces the passing of umpire Conor McKenzie in a tragic car accident this morning. The league and its entire community are devastated by this loss and extend their deepest condolences to Conor’s family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time. The other two umpires traveling with Conor are in stable condition.
McKenzie was a talented and respected umpire, known for his professionalism, dedication, and love for the game. He joined the Northwoods League in 2019 and quickly became an integral part of the umpiring crew, leaving a lasting impact on players, coaches, and fans alike. Conor had worked close to 350 Northwoods League games and was also on the field for each all-star game and postseason during his four previous seasons in the league.
“Conor was an exceptional umpire and an even better person,” said Northwoods League Chairman Dick Radatz, Jr. “His dedication to the game was unparalleled, and his loss is deeply felt throughout our league.”
Conor’s passion for baseball was evident in every game he officiated. His knowledge of the game and integrity earned him the respect and admiration of all those who worked with him. Conor’s enthusiasm and positive attitude were contagious, creating a vibrant and enjoyable atmosphere on the field.
“Conor was an amazing man with a heart of gold and a personality to match,” said Northwoods League Umpire Supervisor Larry Rose. “He had a special zest for life that’s unmatched. He left us today on his way to do what he loved doing more than anything, umpiring a baseball game which he was extraordinarily good at. The Northwoods League lost not just an umpire but a dear member of our family. He will be missed in many, many ways but never forgotten.”
The league will honor Conor’s memory with a moment of silence before tomorrow night’s games, as players, coaches, and fans join to pay their respects.
Today’s game between the Madison Mallards and Wausau Woodchucks has been postponed.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 325 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.