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Eephus

***Official RIP Dead Ballplayers Thread -- Yer Out!

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Returning the thread to bad news,

Lee May 1943-2017
 

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Lee May, a three-time All-Star with 354 career home runs, passed away on July 29 at the age of 74.   Details of his passing are not known.

May, known as the Big Bopper, was a fierce hitter who hit 20 or more home runs and 80 or more RBI in 11 consecutive seasons. In 1976, he led the American League in RBI (109).

The slugging first baseman and designated hitter played 18-seasons for the Cincinnati Reds (1965–71), Houston Astros (1972–74), Baltimore Orioles (1975–80) and Kansas City Royals (1981–82). 

He retired after the 1982 season with a career .267 batting average and 1,244 RBI. 

 

His top ten B-R comps

Tino Martinez (934.7)

Willie Horton (910.6)

George Foster (905.0)

Boog Powell (893.1)

Gil Hodges (892.9)

Raul Ibanez (888.3)

George Scott (886.6)

Joe Adcock (882.6)

Jack Clark (873.3)

Norm Cash (871.9)

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2 hours ago, Eephus said:

Returning the thread to bad news,

Lee May 1943-2017
 

His top ten B-R comps

Tino Martinez (934.7)

Willie Horton (910.6)

George Foster (905.0)

Boog Powell (893.1)

Gil Hodges (892.9)

Raul Ibanez (888.3)

George Scott (886.6)

Joe Adcock (882.6)

Jack Clark (873.3)

Norm Cash (871.9)

One of the first baseball players I remember seeing.  I was six years old in 81.  R.I.P.

Edited by PIK95
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19 minutes ago, PIK95 said:

One of the first baseball players I remember seeing.  I was six years old in 81.  R.I.P.

He was also one of the first I can recall. What caught my attention was the distinctive way he wiggled the bat before he swung.

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12 hours ago, NREC34 said:

Just saw that Darren Daulton, former catcher with the Phillies has passed away due to brain cancer. 

RIP Dutch...

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On 8/7/2017 at 6:50 AM, Don Quixote said:

Two of my favourite things were watching The Cobra round the bases, and watching Don Baylor get hit by a baseball.  No one will ever get hit like that again.

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https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/sports/baseball/ken-kaiser-dead-colorful-american-league-umpire.amp.html

Ken Kaiser, a no-nonsense umpire who was unafraid over his colorful 23-year major league career to confront players and managers, but who lost his job during a misguided labor action by his union, died on Tuesday in Rochester. He was 72.

His son John said the cause was most likely congestive heart failure. Kaiser also had diabetes.

Kaiser called more than 2,800 regular season games in the American League and was part of the umpiring crews for the 1987 and 1997 World Series and the 1991 All-Star Game.

An old-school man in blue, he tried to control the game through force of personality and command of the rule book. He could be tough, funny, loud and belligerent. Ron Luciano, a fellow umpire, once likened Kaiser’s physique — 6-foot-2 and nearly 300 pounds — to a “barrel on which two arms had been stuck on backwards.”

David Fisher, who collaborated on Kaiser’s autobiography, “Planet of the Umps: A Baseball Life From Behind the Plate” (2003), said in a telephone interview: “Kenny was big, boisterous, tough and arrogant. He walked with a strut. And he took nothing from nobody — never.”

In umpiring school, Kaiser said, he learned that players and managers were the enemy, although his son said that he developed friendships with players like George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Don Mattingly.

Another lesson: “Whatever call you make is the only right call,” he wrote in his memoir. “Never explain, never apologize.”

Like many umpires, Kaiser detested Earl Weaver, the diminutive, cantankerous manager of the Baltimore Orioles, who frequently battled umpires. He also loathed Eddie Murray, a power-hitting first baseman who played for the Orioles and other teams. Near the end of his career, Murray protested a strike-two call by Kaiser.

In his memoir, Kaiser recalled his response: “We ain’t talked in 15 years. Don’t start now.”

When Murray tossed his bat in the air after Kaiser had called him out on the third strike, Kaiser ejected him (one of 75 players or managers he tossed out in his career). Murray, a future Hall of Famer, challenged him to a fight. Kaiser agreed, telling him, “Eddie, you can even bring your bat with you because the way you’re swinging this year, you couldn’t hit me with it anyway.”

Umpiring was not an easy life, especially during Kaiser’s years in the minor leagues and the early ones after he was called up to the American League. Salaries were modest, the travel was grueling, the long seasons took him away from his wife and children for weeks at a time, and umpires generally could trust only one another.

“An umpire will only take criticism from another umpire,” he told The Washington Post in 1978. “It’s your job to change other people’s minds, to bend them to your way of thinking.” In the off-season, he said, his family told him that he could calm down and stop telling them what to do.

Kenneth John Kaiser Jr. was born in Rochester on July 26, 1945. His father was a military policeman in North Africa during World War II and later became a security guard at Eastman Kodak. His mother, the former Annette Moyer, ran a television repair shop.

In 1964, after graduating from high school, Kaiser tagged along with a friend who was heading south to Al Somers’s umpiring school in Daytona Beach, Fla. — attracted more by the warm weather than by any clear ambition to calls balls and strikes.

“Umpire school was definitely not part of my fantasy,” he wrote. “I had never umpired a game of baseball in my life.”

And while he did not excel in school, he got a job in the Florida Rookie League, beginning a 13-year odyssey through increasingly higher tiers of the minor leagues. “I thought about quitting 50,000 times, like we all do,” he told The Post. “In my last year in the minors, I was making $650 — a month, not a week — that’s for five months a year.”

He moved up to the American League in 1977 and called his first game that April between the California Angels and the Seattle Mariners at the Kingdome in Seattle. His first ejection came that September, when he thumbed out Ken Henderson, a Texas Rangers outfielder.

Becoming a major league umpire ended a two-year off-season stint as a professional wrestler. Kaiser had donned an all-black outfit and a mask to become a bad guy known as the Hatchet. (He toted a hatchet into the ring with him.)

He never won a match, he said. He recalled that Haystacks Calhoun, who weighed in at around 500 pounds, once “bounced off the rope and flopped on top of me.” In another match, Kaiser’s opponent unmasked him, revealing his true identity to Eric Gregg, another baseball umpire, who was in attendance. Gregg was so surprised, he dropped his popcorn.

Kaiser’s wrestling detour led to long friendships with the wrestling personalities Big John Studd, Mr. Perfect and Bobby Heenan, known as the Brain. “Those relationships lasted because they loved hanging out with my dad,” John Kaiser said.

He would adopt another mask — one that protected his face when he worked behind home plate — to call 707 of his 2,815 regular-season games.

But he lost his job in 1999 when he and more than 50 other umpires submitted letters of resignation as part of a strategy conceived by their union leader, Richie Phillips, to force Major League Baseball to negotiate a better labor agreement. Twenty-two of the resignations were accepted, including Kaiser’s. And while several of the men were rehired, Kaiser was not among them.

“He never really got over that,” Ted Barrett, an umpire who was a friend of Kaiser’s, said in a telephone interview. “He and the others didn’t get to go out on their own terms. He resented baseball for the way he was treated.”

It took five years after his resignation for Kaiser to receive severance pay, reported to be $400,000.

In addition to his son, Kaiser is survived by his companion, Cheryl Bogner; his daughter, Lauren Kaiser Nelson; and his half brother, David. His marriage to the former Brenda Coccia ended in divorce.

Kaiser conceded that he was not perfect at his job, something that he was regularly reminded of by fans, players and managers. But he insisted that he had never lost control of a game.

“If I didn’t have the respect of the players and managers, I definitely had their attention on the field,” he wrote. “When I was on the field, they knew that if anyone was going to be intimidated, it wasn’t going to be me.”

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Gene Michael  1938-2017
 

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Gene “Stick” Michael, a beloved Yankees figure who helped build the late-90s dynasty, has died from a heart attack. He was 79.

Michael was the Yankees manager in 1981-82 and the GM from 1991-95, when he drafted Derek Jeter and guided the organization during George Steinbrenner’s suspension.

Michael was the true architect of the teams that would win four World Series in five years from 1996-2000. Beyond Jeter, he drafted or signed the entire Core Four: Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada.

After his run as GM, Michael stuck with the organization, serving as the vice-president of major league scouting until 2003, when he was promoted to vice president and senior adviser.

As a player, “Stick” — a reference to his build — was a shortstop from 1966-75, and with the Yankees from 1968-74.

 

He was a no bat middle infielder for some poor post-Mantle Yankees clubs.  He had 3092 PAs with a line of .229/.288/.284.  He somehow managed to stick in the big leagues for parts of nine seasons in spite of not reaching the majors until the age of 28.

His top 10 B-R comps paint a pretty good picture of what kind of ballplayer Stick was

  1. Tom Veryzer (971.5)
  2. Frank Duffy (961.2)
  3. Johnnie LeMaster (953.6)
  4. Bobby Wine (947.0)
  5. Charley O'Leary (944.8)
  6. Ted Kubiak (941.9)
  7. Brendan Ryan (941.7)
  8. Darrel Chaney (937.7)
  9. Jose Uribe (936.2)
  10. George Strickland (934.6)

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I always enjoyed his radio interviews. He came across as thoughtful and well versed in the game. 

The rumor for thirty years is Dallas Green's resignation came about because the Tribune Co. forced him to hire Michael over his first and only choice: John Vukovich. 

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On 9/7/2017 at 10:36 AM, Eephus said:

Gene Michael  1938-2017
 

He was a no bat middle infielder for some poor post-Mantle Yankees clubs.  He had 3092 PAs with a line of .229/.288/.284.  He somehow managed to stick in the big leagues for parts of nine seasons in spite of not reaching the majors until the age of 28.

His top 10 B-R comps paint a pretty good picture of what kind of ballplayer Stick was

  1. Tom Veryzer (971.5)
  2. Frank Duffy (961.2)
  3. Johnnie LeMaster (953.6)
  4. Bobby Wine (947.0)
  5. Charley O'Leary (944.8)
  6. Ted Kubiak (941.9)
  7. Brendan Ryan (941.7)
  8. Darrel Chaney (937.7)
  9. Jose Uribe (936.2)
  10. George Strickland (934.6)

Player.  Coach.  Manager.  GM.  Scout.  All for the same franchise.

Incredible man by all accounts.  Instrumental in the teams that a young Rodg grew up watching win world series championships.  RIP Stick.  You'll be missed.

Edited by rodg12
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Jim Landis 1934-2017

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Jim Landis, considered one of the best defensive center fielders of his time and a key member of the 1959 American League champion White Sox, died Saturday in Napa, Calif., at age 83.

Landis played eight seasons with the Sox from 1957-64 and during that time won five consecutive gold gloves and made the American League All-Star team in 1962. A big contributor to the Go-Go Sox team that went 94-60 and advanced to the World Series, Landis hit .272 with 26 doubles and 60 RBIs during the '59 regular season and finished seventh in the voting for the AL Most Valuable Player award. Against the Dodgers in the World Series, Landis hit .292 with six runs in six games.

In 1963, Landis led AL outfielders with a .993 fielding percentage and finished his career with a .989 fielding mark. Signed by the Sox as an amateur free agent in 1952, Landis was one of the 27 players named to the organization's "Team of the Century" in 2000.

 

He had a 5.7 rWAR season for the 1959 Go-Go Sox.  His career decline is accentuated by the dominance of pitching in the mid-late 1960s.

Top Ten B-R comps

  1. Lee Mazzilli (944.5)
  2. Bill Tuttle (936.4)
  3. Pat Kelly (936.0)
  4. Bobby Tolan (933.0)
  5. Gary Matthews (931.5)
  6. Chad Curtis (930.6)
  7. Mickey Stanley (927.9)
  8. Ken Landreaux (926.4)
  9. Grady Hatton (923.1)
  10. Don Buford (922.6)

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Former White Sox pitcher Daniel Webb was killed in an ATV accident on Saturday evening.

The 28-year-old right-hander appeared in 94 games with the White Sox from 2013-2016, compiling a 4.50 ERA, 1.63 WHIP and 93/69 K/BB ratio in 110 innings before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Our deepest condolences go out to his friends and family at this difficult time.

Edited by Limp Ditka

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17 year old Red Sox prospect Daniel Flores died from complications during cancer treatment.

Flores was a catcher from Venezuela who had just signed for $3.1M when the international FA window opened in July.  BA had him ranked as the #2 prospect from his international class.

Life is brutally unfair sometimes.

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Doerr was the second oldest living MLB player.  With his death, former Braves OF Clint Conatser enters the top ten (born 7/24/1921).

Doerr was also the last player who had played during the 1930s.  He made the big leagues as a teenager in 1937.  There are now only two players alive who appeared in a game before Pearl Harbor:  Chuck Stevens and Fred Caligiuri.

Doerr's top ten B-R comps:

  1. Tony Lazzeri (895.7) *
  2. Chase Utley (894.2)
  3. Victor Martinez (892.8)
  4. Vern Stephens (890.7)
  5. Joe Torre (877.4) *
  6. Bob Elliott (874.7)
  7. Brandon Phillips (871.9)
  8. Ray Durham (864.8)
  9. Ian Kinsler (863.5)
  10. Ken Boyer (859.5)

 

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Jungle Jim Rivera 1921-2017

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CHICAGO -- Jim Rivera, an outfielder on the White Sox 1959 American League pennant-winning squad, passed away Monday night at the age of 96 in Fort Wayne, Ind.

"Jungle Jim" played for the White Sox from 1952-61, hitting .257 with 134 doubles, 50 triples, 77 home runs, 382 RBIs and 146 stolen bases over 1,010 games.

Rivera appeared in all five games of the 1959 World Series vs. the Dodgers, including three starts in right field. He also played for the St. Louis Browns in '52 and the Kansas City Athletics in '61. Rivera led the AL in triples (16) in 1953 and stolen bases in 1955 (25).

His best season was in 1953, when Rivera hit .259 with 11 homers, 78 RBIs, 26 doubles, 16 triples and 22 steals. Rivera finished with 523 career strikeouts against 365 walks over 4,008 career plate appearances.

He didn't make the majors until he was thirty, but then played until he was almost forty. I couldn't find a reason for why he got such a late start. 

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4 hours ago, Encyclopedia Brown said:

Jungle Jim Rivera 1921-2017

He didn't make the majors until he was thirty, but then played until he was almost forty. I couldn't find a reason for why he got such a late start. 

He served 5 years in prison. Interesting read here...

http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/d856e0d3

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21 hours ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

Damn, 2nd former Philly pitcher to die this month.  Miguel Gonzalez died in a car crash in Cuba.  34 years old.

Really Kinda sucks.  He was initially an uber hyped prospect, then I think it cooled due to some arm issues, but still got like 12 million.  Great fortune for him and hopefully the money was all still saved for his family.

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Frank Lary  1930-2017
 

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Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Frank Lary died on Wednesday in Northport, Ala., according to the Tuscaloosa News. Lary was 87.

Lary, known as "Mule" or "Taters" due to his rural Alabama upbringing, spent 11 seasons with the Tigers, making the American League All-Star team in 1960 and 1961. He had his best season with the Tigers in 1961, when he went 23-9 with a 3.24 ERA in 275⅓ innings. That season, he won a Gold Glove and finished third in Cy Young voting, behind the Yankees' Whitey Ford and the Braves' Warren Spahn.

"He was a great guy with a wonderful sense of humor," said former teammate and Tigers pitcher Paul Foytack. " I remember once in a pre-game meeting we were talking about a certain hitter that we didn’t want to beat us. Someone said 'we should just walk him.' Frank said, 'Why don’t we just hit him.'"

Lary didn't make the majors until 1954, his baseball career delayed by serving in the Korean War. Overall, Lary finished his 12-year major league career with 128 wins and a 3.49 ERA. He also pitched for the Mets, Braves and White Sox.

“First time I saw Frank was when I came up in September of 1963," said Denny McLain, a former teammate and two-time Cy Young Award winner. "He was a real character, always making jokes with a million one liners. He roomed with Norm Cash, so that made all the difference in the world. With those guys, you couldn’t have a bad day." 

Known in the media as the "Yankee Killer" with the Tigers, the right-hander went 28-13 with a 3.32 ERA in 56 starts against New York's AL franchise. He injured his leg hitting a triple against the Yankees in the 1962 season opener — a 5-3 victory — and was never the same, going 10-23 after the injury.

 

 

Lary has an illustrious B-R comps list with two Cy Young Award winners, a deadball era pitcher and two celebrated headcases:

  1.     Joaquin Andujar (964.6)
  2.     Dock Ellis (962.6)
  3.     Nelson Briles (962.3)
  4.     Mike Scott (955.4)
  5.     Howie Pollet (953.5)
  6.     Ray Caldwell (953.3)
  7.     John Denny (952.1)
  8.     Dave Goltz (951.2)
  9.     Steve Gromek (950.0)
  10.     Bob Purkey (949.9)

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Rob Picciolo  1953-2018
 

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Rob Picciolo, the longest-tenured coach in Padres history, died Wednesday after suffering a heart attack, the team confirmed.  He was 64.

All told, Picciolo spent 20 years in the Padres organization after a nine-year big league career carried him from the Athletics to the Brewers to the Angels. He was a minor league manager at rookie-level Spokane (1986-87), a roving infield instructor (1988-1990), a first base coach (mid-1990-1992), bench coach (1993-2002) and third base coach (2003-2005).

Oakland’s first-round pick in the secondary phase of the 1975 January draft, Picciolo hit .234 with 17 homers and 109 RBIs across parts of nine seasons in the majors. He made his major league debut with the Athletics in 1977, was traded to the Brewers in 1982 for Milwaukee’s World Series run and signed with the Angels before the 1984 seasons.

Picciolo ended his playing career in Oakland after hitting .275 in 71 games in 1985.

 

Peach came up right after the A's dynasty collapsed due to free agency and Charles O. Finley.  He hung around as a utilityman in Oakland through the Billy Ball era. 

He must have been a hell of a college player because he was drafted 6th and 4th overall in successive amateur drafts.  But he couldn't hit big league pitching with only a .234/.246/.312 career line and only 25 walks in over 1700 PAs.

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The Babe Ruth Of Long Beach


 

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Bailey attended Naples Elementary and Rogers Middle School where he met his wife, Karen. He played baseball and football at Wilson where he was the 1961 CIF Baseball Player of the Year. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Bailey to a deal that came with a $175,000 signing bonus. The amateur draft wasn’t instituted until 1965, so Bailey was picked to sign with the Pirates, and he was one of the last “bonus baby” players in the MLB.

After struggling in the minors for a season, Bailey was called up in September of his second year out of high school. He was labeled a bust by the media, but Bailey hit .281 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs in his second season with the Pirates.

Bailey was traded to the Dodgers for Maury Wills in 1966. He also played for the Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox. Bailey posted a .257 batting average with 189 home runs and 773 Runs batted in in 1,931 games played over his 17-year career. He was with the Red Sox for the famous Carlton Fisk and Bucky Dent games, and coached in the minor leagues with the Expos organization after retiring in 1978.

 

 

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If the dictionary has a picture next to the word umpire, it should be of Doug Harvey

God has died at age 87

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Oscar Gamble 1949-2018

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Oscar Gamble, a lefty-swinging hitter popularly known for the large Afro hairstyle he wore in the 1970s, died Wednesday at age 68.

His death was confirmed by Andrew Levy, Gamble's agent. The cause of death was not reported.

Gamble played seven of his 17 Major League seasons with the Yankees, who employed him as a pull hitter who could play part time or come off the bench and take aim at the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium, in 1976 and again from 1979-84. He hit a career-high 31 home runs for the White Sox in 1977 and also spent time with the Cubs, Phillies, Indians, Rangers and Padres.

But he was most famous for his hair, the mass of which could barely be contained by a batting helmet, which would invariably come off his head when he ran the bases. Images of him and his large hair are still shown among highlights from the era on television and in ballparks. Gamble had to cut his hair shorter, though, after the Yankees acquired him from the Indians in a trade during the 1975-76 offseason, and again after the Yankees reacquired him from the Rangers in '79.

Gamble, scouted by the legendary Buck O'Neil and drafted in 1968 by the Cubs, for whom he debuted in '69, appeared in 1,584 big league games from 1969-85, batting .265/.356/.454 with 200 homers and 666 RBIs in 5,197 plate appearances. He twice ranked in the top 10 in slugging in the American League: in 1974 for the Indians and '77 for the White Sox.

He was part of the April 1977 trade in which the Yankees sent him and right-hander LaMarr Hoyt to the White Sox in exchange for shortstop Bucky Dent. Gamble rejoined the Yankees in a trade that sent center fielder Mickey Rivers to Texas, and in '81 he followed Reggie Jackson's homer with one of his own in tying the score in an eventual 7-3 win in the decisive Game 5 of the AL Division Series against the Brewers.

 

:fro:

His top ten B-R comps list is topped by Daddy Wags and includes some other colorful characters of the game

  1. Leon Wagner (944.4)
  2. Cliff Johnson (926.5)
  3. Larry Hisle (922.4)
  4. Jason Bay (916.5)
  5. Bobby Higginson (916.4)
  6. Kevin Millar (915.4)
  7. Joe Pepitone (913.8)
  8. Jesse Barfield (913.6)
  9. Jose Cruz (912.9)
  10. Carl Everett (912.6)
Edited by Eephus

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1 hour ago, Eephus said:

Oscar Gamble 1949-2018

:fro:

His top ten B-R comps list is topped by Daddy Wags and includes some other colorful characters of the game

  1. Leon Wagner (944.4)
  2. Cliff Johnson (926.5)
  3. Larry Hisle (922.4)
  4. Jason Bay (916.5)
  5. Bobby Higginson (916.4)
  6. Kevin Millar (915.4)
  7. Joe Pepitone (913.8)
  8. Jesse Barfield (913.6)
  9. Jose Cruz (912.9)
  10. Carl Everett (912.6)

I'd have to dig through the archives, but fairly confident that I still have this card

 

Yankess Take Gamble On Oscar

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1 hour ago, Eephus said:

Oscar Gamble 1949-2018

:fro:

His top ten B-R comps list is topped by Daddy Wags and includes some other colorful characters of the game

  1. Leon Wagner (944.4)
  2. Cliff Johnson (926.5)
  3. Larry Hisle (922.4)
  4. Jason Bay (916.5)
  5. Bobby Higginson (916.4)
  6. Kevin Millar (915.4)
  7. Joe Pepitone (913.8)
  8. Jesse Barfield (913.6)
  9. Jose Cruz (912.9)
  10. Carl Everett (912.6)

All time best hair in MLB.

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Tito Francona passes @ 84
 

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Tito Francona, a 15-year MLB veteran whose son, Terry, is the manager of the Cleveland Indians, died late Tuesday night. He was 84.

The Indians confirmed the elder Francona's passing, which was first reported by MLB.com.

“Our hearts ache as truly one of the special men in Cleveland Indians history passed away last night,” said Indians Senior VP of Public Affairs Bob Dibiasio in a statement. “On behalf of the entire Indians organization, our thoughts and prayers are with Terry and the entire Francona family.

"For a generation of Cleveland fans, Tito was one of the all-time favorites to wear an Indians uniform.  It was certainly a joy the past five years watching Tito and Terry be together around the ballpark. He will be missed.”

Francona, whose given name was John, made his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 1956. He played with eight other teams over the following 14 seasons, including six with the Indians. In 1959, he received MVP votes and earned a spot in the All-Star Game in 1961.

He retired in 1970 with a career .272 average and 125 home runs and 656 RBI in more than 5,700 plate appearances.


 

 

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B-R career comps for Tito Francona

  1. Kevin Bass (935.7)
  2. Jeffrey Leonard (930.8)
  3. Bruce Bochte (930.6)
  4. Jay Johnstone (924.5)
  5. Norm Siebern (922.6)
  6. Tony Gonzalez (921.9)
  7. Larry Herndon (920.7)
  8. Al Cowens (919.9)
  9. Willie Montanez (919.4)
  10. Ed Kranepool (918.7)

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Wally Moon 1930-2018
 

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Wally Moon, the wiry outfielder with the old-school crew cut who helped take the Dodgers to the World Series three times and became a crowd favorite for his towering “Moon shots,” has died.

Moon, who became part of the Dodgers lineup shortly after the team moved west from Brooklyn, died Friday in Bryan, Texas. He was 87.

A lefty who had proved to be a steady hitter with decent power while with the St. Louis Cardinals, Moon was nonetheless coming off a down year when he was traded to the Dodgers in 1959. The Cardinals even tossed in a pitcher to make the deal work. For the Dodgers, coming off a seventh-place finish, it seemed an odd way to rebuild.

And there was the ballpark where the Dodgers then played: the cavernous Coliseum, a graveyard for left-handed batters.

It was a staggering 440 feet to the right-field fence. By contrast, the left-field bleachers were a friendly 251 feet from home plate — a chip shot for a decent player. To take advantage of the odd dimensions, the Dodgers stacked their lineup with righties.

“I really wasn’t sure how much I was going to get to play,” Moon told The Times in 2008.

After consulting with former teammate Stan Musial, generally regarded as one of the finest hitters in the game, Moon decided to adjust his swing and his stance at the plate so that he could drive the ball to left field. And to get it over the 42-foot screen that hung in front of the left-field bleachers, he learned to uppercut the ball.

The results were impressive. Hitting in a lineup with fearsome players such as Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and John Roseboro, Moon batted .302 and swatted 19 home runs, nine of them to left field. The most dramatic was a towering ninth-inning “Moon shot” to left field in a 2-2 game against the San Francisco Giants in 1959.

The walk-off home run helped carry the team to the World Series, where they knocked off the Chicago White Sox to win it all.

 

Moon had a Hall-of-Fame unibrow as well.

Top Ten B-R comps

  1. Hank Bauer (935.0)
  2. Tillie Walker (934.5)
  3. Shin-Soo Choo (928.4)
  4. Andre Ethier (924.5)
  5. Bruce Campbell (923.2)
  6. David Segui (921.5)
  7. Bobby Higginson (921.3)
  8. Roberto Kelly (921.1)
  9. Tony Gonzalez (916.2)
  10. Von Hayes (915.6)

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13 minutes ago, Epic Problem said:

Rusty Staub dies on opening day

:( 

RIP Le Grand Orange :banned:

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Staub seemed like a genuinely good dude. On those documentary shows on ESPN/MLB Network, he always had an interesting quip. He was also shaped just like Babe Ruth, which is kind of cool.

Tim Kurkijan posted a couple of interesting stats: Staub hit a homerun as a teenager and as a forty-year old. He had five hundred hits with four different teams, and he was on base more than four thousand times in his career. 

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Davey Nelson 1944-2018
 

Quote

 

Davey Nelson, a Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster and former All-Star infielder who also coached in the majors, has died. He was 73.

The Brewers say Nelson died Monday after a long illness.

Nelson joined the Brewers as a roving minor league instructor in 2001 before joining the big league team as first base coach two years later. He became an analyst with Fox Sports Wisconsin in 2006 and took a front-office role with the Brewers organization.

Nelson also had coaching stints with the White Sox, Athletics, Indians and the Montreal Expos.

He played in the majors from 1968-77 as an infielder with the Indians, Senators, Rangers and Royals. Nelson made the 1973 AL All-Star team after batting .286 with 43 stolen bases with Texas.

 

His All-Star season came as a member of a 1973 Rangers club that lost 105 games and was managed by both Billy Martin and Whitey Herzog.

There's only one recent player on his B-R comps list

  1.     John Knight (960.2)
  2.     Jack Brohamer (949.0)
  3.     Abraham Nunez (947.8)
  4.     Bill McKechnie (942.9) *
  5.     Tim Flannery (940.7)
  6.     Damian Jackson (940.0)
  7.     Billy Hitchcock (937.3)
  8.     Billy Clingman (937.2)
  9.     Dave Chalk (934.9)
  10.     Charlie Reilly (934.9)

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Marv Rackley (1920-2018) was the last surviving participant from Jackie Robinson's MLB debut.

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