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Central Texas umpire calls one last inning after 56-year career

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 11:52 PM CDT
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MCGREGOR, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas umpire is retiring after a long career. John Manuel Leos started umpiring at 18 and is 74 years-old.

His career ended earlier than expected last year because games were canceled due to COVID-19. This year he wanted to officially retire and his family made sure he was celebrated on Thursday night.

“I didn’t expect anything like this my daughter said don’t plan anything for April 22,” said John Manuel Leos.

His daughter had it all set up.Her dad would call one last inning, and they’d celebrate his 56-year career.

“Last year because of COVID, he wasn’t able to retire like he wanted to so being able to give this to him really meant a lot to me and meant a lot to him,” said his daughter Quele Medina.

Manuel has umpired little league, high school and even semi-pro games. He’s become a staple in McGregor over the years.

If it were really his choice, he’d keep going but at 74 he thinks its time to hang it up. Manuel has umpired for every generation in is family, and has made sure love for the game is passed down.

It’s always been a family thing, and that’s how it ends umpiring for his great-grandson and great nephews.

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