Bob Motley, a Negro Leagues umpire who helped found the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, died Thursday. He was 94.
Motley was the last living Negro Leagues umpire, a job he first took in 1948.
“MLB mourns the passing of Negro Leagues umpire Bob Motley, a guest at the 2014 World Series,” Major League Baseball said in a statement. “Grateful for the legacy he leaves.”
Motley also served as the chief umpire at the 1973 College World Series. He declined an offer in 1979 to work in Major League Baseball as a replacement during an umpire strike, refusing to cross the picket line.
“He lived a full life, an honest live,” his son Byron Motley told The Kansas City Star. “He lived a ‘Never give up’ mantra.”
Earlier this year, a fundraiser was held to pay for a statue of Bob Motley that will be erected at the Negro Leagues Museum.