After 7,000 games umped, it’s time for Cook twins to enter HOF

Posted on June 4, 2014 by CJ Siewert

There’s the Minnesota Twins at the professional level, and then there’s the Minnesota twins at every level below.

And if you’ve been to a ball game in Minnesota in the past 50 years, especially in the southwest – whether its amateur, college, high school, American Legion, VFW or Little League – it’s likely you’ve come across twins Wayne and Warren Cook.

There’s a campaign afoot to get the Cook twins into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, and for good reason.

Wayne and Warren have devoted their lives to promote baseball. Born in Sleepy Eye, they were batboys at age 11 for Mulligan and have been involved in the game for half a century as coaches and, for the most part, umpires.

They started their coaching careers in the Junior Bi-County (midgets) and then played in the Bi-County League (teenagers) for a couple of years.

Wayne and Warren’s presence has been known as lifelong umpires who make sure the game is played the right way.

Wayne just completed his 40th year of umpiring and Warren, his 34th year. Between them, they have umpired more than 7,000 games.

Both have graced fields throughout Minnesota, working numerous state tournaments as the “men in blue.” They brought integrity and professionalism to the game and in return have been shown respect every time they step on the field as umpires.

When they noticed a shortage of umpires after New Ulm Area and Southwest both disbanded as associations, they had the foresight to organize South Central Umpires in 1990. That has ensured that teams continue to have two umpires a game, while areas outside of the Twin Cities and St. Cloud are going with one umpire for regular season games.

Both have been ambassadors for promoting America’s pastime. In 1981, Warren restarted the Sleepy Eye Indians in the Tomahawk League after a five-year void. Wayne, meanwhile, has spent 30 years of his life as a sports writer, devoting coverage to amateur baseball. Most recently, he has been the umpire coordinator for Minnesota Sports Federation (MSF) state-qualifying tournaments in his hometown of Redwood Falls.

The multiple letters of recommendation have been submitted to the Hall of Fame committee and it won’t be long until Minnesota twins Wayne and Warren Cook are enshrined. 

Writer’s note:

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the Cook twins for some time. They both umpired many games with my grandfather and father throughout the past 35+ years. And if there are any two men who deserve recognition for their promotion of Minnesota amateur baseball – it’s certainly the Cookie twins. 

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