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


Eephus

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Joe Garagiola 1926-2016
 

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St. Louis native Joe Garagiola, who was a 20-year-old catcher on the 1946 Cardinals World Series championship team and went on to a long career in broadcasting with the Cardinals, NBC and the Arizona Diamondbacks among others, died in Phoenix at age 90, the Diamondbacks announced Wednesday.

On the “Hill” in St. Louis, Garagiola grew up with and was a long-time friend of New York Yankees Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, who died last year. Garagiola’s son, Joe Garagiola, Jr., is the former general manager of the D-backs and the Major League Baseball senior vice president of standards and on-field operations.

"Joe was so special to everyone at the D-backs and had an aura about him that you could feel the moment you met him," D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall said in a statement.

"Those of us who were lucky enough to know him personally were profoundly aware that the lovable personality that fans saw on TV was only surpassed by who he was in person and the way he treated everyone around him."

After a nine-season playing career and a stint in the Cardinals' broadcasting booth alongside Harry Caray and Jack Buck, Garagiola went to NBC, where he did the Game of the Week on Saturdays.  Later, he was on the The Today Show on NBC from 1966-73 and 1990-92. He also hosted several game shows, including Memory Game and To Tell the Truth.

In 2013, Garagiola received the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame for his contributions to pro baseball. Earlier, he had been inducted into the broadcasters’ wing at the Hall, having won the Ford Frick Award.

Garagiola is survived by his wife Audrie, three children and eight grandchildren. A funeral service will be held in St. Louis and a memorial will be held in Arizona at a later date, the D-backs announced

 

.257/.354/.385 in 2170 PAs over nine years. 
9.2 career rWAR. 
Recent B-R comparables:  Josh Bard and Todd Pratt

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22 minutes ago, Encyclopedia Brown said:

Did he and Yogi have a falling out? I have heard that mentioned. 

Long-time Village Voice sportswriter Allen Barra hinted at this in his biography of Yogi (which I haven't read).  This article from Slate published last year after Berra's death talks about how Yogi sometimes resented his public persona and Garagiola's role in mythologizing it.

 

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Milt Pappas  1939-2016
 

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Milt Pappas, a cagey right-hander who won more than 200 big league games but whose most memorable, if unlucky, legacy is that he was traded for the future Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson in what has been considered one of the most lopsided exchanges in baseball history, died on Tuesday at his home in Beecher, Ill. He was 76.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Judi, who said she was unsure of the cause.

Pappas appeared in his first major league game with the Baltimore Orioles in 1957, when he was 18. The next season he won 10 games for a sixth-place team, becoming the first member of a young rotation known as the Baby Birds; by 1961 it included Chuck Estrada, Steve Barber and Jack Fisher, not one of them yet 24.

A control pitcher without a blazing fastball, over his career Pappas struck out fewer than five batters per nine innings, but he also walked just 2.4 and gave up less than one home run. By the end of 1965, at just 26, he had already won 110 games and had twice been an All-Star.

That was when the Orioles, who were pitching-rich but hitting-poor, traded him (with two less consequential players) to the Cincinnati Reds for Robinson, who had already turned 30 and was four years removed from his Most Valuable Player Award season of 1961. On the face of it, the trade seemed reasonable for both sides, perhaps even favoring the Reds.

It didn’t quite turn out that way. Pappas went on to have a fine career, winning 99 more games (he came within one win of being among a handful of pitchers to win 100 games in each league) for the Reds, the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs.

Robinson, however, promptly led the American League with a .316 batting average, 49 home runs and 122 runs batted in, winning the triple crown and the M.V.P. Award and leading the team to its first World Series since 1944, when the franchise was still in St. Louis, and a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Robinson was an All-Star in four of the next five seasons, and in six years as an Oriole he averaged nearly 30 home runs a season and more than 90 R.B.I. His Orioles played in three more World Series, losing to the so-called Miracle Mets of 1969 and to Pittsburgh in 1971. They beat Cincinnati in 1970, but by then Pappas, who never pitched in a World Series, was already gone from that team.

He had been traded to Atlanta in June 1968, shortly after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Several teams declined to play on June 8, the day of the burial, but the Reds’ players voted to play — reportedly by a slim margin and only after they had been pressured by management. Angered, Pappas resigned as the team’s player representative, and he was traded three days later.

The Braves, in mid-1970, sold his contract to Chicago, where, in addition to winning 51 games in less than four seasons (including 17 each in 1971 and 1972), he had one more notable moment. On Sept. 2, 1972, he had a perfect game going against the San Diego Padres with two outs in the ninth inning when he walked Larry Stahl on a 3-2 count. The pitch appeared to be outside, but Pappas blew his stack at the umpire, Bruce Froemming, and though he completed his no-hitter, he was angry about the call for the rest of his life. He contended that with nothing at stake except baseball history in the making, Froemming should have given him a break on the final pitch and stretched the strike zone.

“I still to this day don’t understand what Bruce Froemming was going through in his mind at that time,” Pappas told ESPN in 2007. “Why didn’t he throw up that right hand like the umpire did in the perfect game with Don Larsen?” He added: “It’s a home game in Wrigley Field. I’m pitching for the Chicago Cubs. The score is 8-0 in favor of the Cubs. What does he have to lose by not calling the last pitch a strike to call a perfect game?”

Milton Steven Pappastediodis was born in Detroit on May 11, 1939. (Most sources say his middle name was Stephen, but Judi Pappas said it was spelled with a V.) His parents were Greek immigrants who shortened the family name; his father owned a drugstore and soda fountain.

He graduated from Cooley High School in Detroit before signing as an amateur free agent with the Orioles. He appeared in only three minor league games. His career record was 209-164, with a 3.40 E.R.A.

Pappas’s first wife, Carole, was the subject of some mystery when the Pappas family lived in Wheaton, Ill., a Chicago suburb. On Sept. 11, 1982, she disappeared one Saturday while running errands. There was some suspicion of foul play, but five years later, in August 1987, her body was discovered inside her car at the bottom of a retention pond blocks from their home.

In addition to his wife, the former Judi Bloome, whom he married in 1987, Pappas’s survivors include their daughter, Alexandria Arlis; a son from his first marriage, Steven; and five granddaughters. A daughter from his first marriage, Michelle, died in 2015.

 

209-164 with a career ERA+ of 110.  46.8 WAR

Top B-R comps include some pretty good arms

Jim Perry (943)

Don Drysdale (940) *

Orel Hershiser (940)

Catfish Hunter (937) *

Bob Welch (933)

Larry Jackson (930)

Kevin Brown (926)

Jesse Haines (926) *

Charlie Root (925)

Vida Blue (922)

 

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RIP Dick McAuliffe

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Dick McAuliffe, an infielder for the 1968 World Series champion Detroit Tigers, died on Friday. He was 76.

The Tigers confirmed McAuliffe’s passing and held a moment of silence before Monday’s game for him and former first-round pick John Young.

A three-time All-Star, McAuliffe was known for his unique batting stance and 1968 fight with Tommy John.

Jim Price, a ’68 teammate and analyst for Tigers radio, remembered McAuliffe for his toughness. McAuliffe was involved in a brawl with Chicago White Sox pitcher Tommy John in August, 1968. Price said John “threw it right at his head and Dick charged the mound.”

McAuliffe was suspended five days and fined $250. During the fight, John sustained torn ligaments in his left shoulder and missed the rest of the season.

Price recalled another fight McAuliffe was involved with against the Kansas City Athletics.

“I remember a time where a pitcher drilled him,” Price said. “Next time we played them, he led off with a drag bunt. Pitcher came over to field it. (McAuliffe) knocked the pitcher over. Darndest fight you’ve seen. That’s what (McAuliffe) was like.

“We had a lot of fights in those days. They weren’t hugging and kissing. It was actual fights and Mad Dog was right there.”

Price said McAuliffe wasn’t mean though.

“Just tough,” Price said. “Not mean at all. But you do him wrong from another team, they had to pay the price.”

Price said he knew McAuliffe had been in declining health for some time.

“We saw him three or four years ago in Boston and I could see the beginnings of some problems and when you hear the reality it really sets you back,” Price said, adding there aren’t a lot of players left from the 1968 team picture.

Tigers television analyst Kirk Gibson, who grew up in Waterford, remembered watching McAuliffe as a youngster: “He had a unique stance, I’m sure a stance I tried to emulate in the backyard.

 

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His batting stance was about as open as come.  His right foot was near the right front corner of the batting box. 

McAuliffe also used a unique bat that expanded gradually at the bottom rather than having a distinct knob.  I found a bat like it at a Goodwill store after moving to SF. It spent many years at our front doorway for when Mrs. Eephus needed to roust homeless and hookers away from our porch. 

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McAuliffe's prime years happened in the worst era for offense and his career ended a few years before free agency.  

His peak years in OPS+ compare favorably with Chase Utley's even though his raw numbers outside of historical context look closer to Brian Dozier's. 

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Jim Ray Hart 1941-2016
 

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Jim Ray Hart, a hard-hitting third baseman who spent most of his career with the San Francisco Giants but ended it as a Yankee, died on Thursday in Acampo, Calif., near Stockton. He was 74.  The Giants announced his death, which they said had followed a long illness.

Hart played for the Giants from 1963 to 1973 and became a designated hitter when he was acquired by the Yankees early in the 1973 season. The Yankees released him in June 1974.

A good hitter but an undistinguished third baseman, Hart, who also played in the outfield, had a career batting average of .278, with 170 home runs and 578 R.B.I. in 1,125 games. In 1966, he batted .285 with 33 home runs, a career high, and 93 R.B.I. in 156 games. He was a member that year of the National League All-Star team.

Hart was born on Oct. 30, 1941, in Hookerton, N.C. His marriage to Janet Hart-Ayala ended in divorce. He is survived by four children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

 

Like McAuliffe, Hart had his best years in an era that was unfavorable to offense.  Hart had a very short peak, he didn't have more than 500 PAs after his age 26 season.  He had 139 career HRs at that point but only hit 31 more before retiring at age 32.

Hart's B-R comps

Don Demeter (937)

Hank Blalock (933)

Glenallen Hill (931)

Trot Nixon (928)

Corey Hart (928)

Bob Horner (928)

Richard Hidalgo (926)

Leon Durham (921)

Preston Wilson (920)

Jim Lemon (919)

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Jim Hickman 1937-2016

 

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Jim Hickman, a member of the inaugural Mets team in 1962 who later became an All-Star with the Cubs, died Saturday at age 79. The Tennessean reports he had been in hospice. 

A native of Henning, Tenn., Hickman toiled for six years in the minors before making his MLB debut with the 1962 Mets. Playing all three outfield positions that season, Hickman hit 13 home runs and batted .245 with the infamous club that lost 120 games.

After five seasons in New York and one in Los Angeles, Hickman moved to the Cubs, where he enjoyed his greatest success splitting time between first base, third base and the outfield in six seasons. In 1970, the player nicknamed "Gentleman Jim" hit 32 home runs, collected 115 RBIs and had a slash line of .315/.419/.582. He finished eighth in NL MVP voting that year.

Hickman also made his only appearance in the All-Star game that summer. His base hit scored Pete Rose on the famous play in which Rose ran over Indians catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run.

Hickman retired after one season with the Cardinals in 1974. He finished with career totals of 159 home runs, 560 RBIs and 1,002 hits.

The Tennessean reports Hickman's funeral will be at Garner Funeral Home in Ripley, Tenn., but the details are incomplete.

 

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Clarence "Choo Choo" Coleman 1935 (or 37) - 2016
 

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Choo Choo Coleman, a catcher for the Mets during their comically dismal early seasons — and a fond, chuckle-inducing memory for Mets fans — died on Monday in Orangeburg, S.C.

The cause was cancer, The Associated Press reported, citing a niece who said he was 80, born on Aug. 18, 1935. Public records say his date of birth was a week later, Aug. 25. Numerous online biographical sources, however, say he was born on Aug. 25, 1937, indicating he was 78.

Coleman had a brief big league career, playing in parts of four seasons, and his performance was undistinguished: Appearing in 201 games, he hit just .197 with nine homers and 30 runs batted in. But he had the good (or ill) fortune of playing for the Mets in their history-making first two seasons, 1962 and 1963, when the team won 91 games, lost 231 and became legendary in its ineptitude.

He stood 5 feet 9 and played at 165 pounds or less, slight for a catcher. His hands were suspect — he “handles outside curve balls like a man fighting bees,” Roger Angell observed in The New Yorker — and in 1963 he finished third among National League catchers in errors (15) and fourth in passed balls (11) despite starting just 66 games behind the plate. He was known for his hustle, and, Angell observed, he was speedy on the bases (though he added, “This is an attribute that is about as essential to catchers as neat handwriting”).

Coleman was a Met fan’s Met, an emblem (like so many of his teammates) of a team that returned National League baseball to New York and was welcomed by New Yorkers still heartsick at the departure of the Dodgers and Giants to the West Coast after the 1957 season.  It didn’t matter (much) that the early Mets were among the worst major league teams ever fielded; they were also among the best-loved. When Coleman returned to New York for a memorabilia show in 2012, the 50th anniversary of the Mets’ inaugural season, one fan who received a signed photo declared, “This is the holy grail.”

A soft-spoken, reticent man who called everyone “Bub,” Coleman was quotable to unwittingly amusing effect. In 1963, his Mets roommate from the previous year, Charlie Neal, said he thought Coleman couldn’t remember his name. Coleman said he remembered: “You’re No. 4,” he said.  Perhaps the best-known anecdote about Coleman is one that, in later years, he said never happened, though Ralph Kiner, the former slugger and broadcaster, assured The New York Times that it had. In 1962, Kiner interviewed Coleman and asked, “What’s your wife’s name, and what’s she like?” Coleman replied, “Her name is Mrs. Coleman — and she likes me, Bub.”

He was born Clarence Coleman in Orlando, Fla., where, as a teenager, he played in the minor leagues. His nickname, he recalled in 2012, came from his childhood: “When I was 8 or 9, I ran around a lot. My friends called me Choo Choo because I was fast.”

Coleman made it to the big leagues with the Phillies in 1961 and was drafted by the Mets in the expansion draft at the end of that season. After 1963, he played in the minor leagues and in Mexico, with a brief return to the Mets in 1966.

When his playing career was done, he worked in Virginia as a cook in a Chinese restaurant and lived most recently in Bamberg, S.C. His survivors include his wife, Lucille; a son, Clarence Coleman Jr.; and a daughter, Elnora Vanessa Swint, The A.P. reported.

When Coleman returned to New York in 2012, he hadn’t flown in a plane in 35 years.  “They used to shake more,” he said.

 

 

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Juan "Tito" Bell 1968-2016

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Former Dominican baseball player Juan "Tito" Bell, who played for seven years with five different teams in the majors, died Wednesday morning, according to the Dominican Federation of Professional Baseball Players. He was 48 years old.  The former slugger and MVP of the American League, George Bell, said his brother died of kidney complications at a hospital in Santo Domingo, capital of Dominican Republic. He will be buried Thursday in his native San Pedro de Macoris, east of Santo Domingo.

"Tito" Bell was signed by the Dodgers in 1984, but reached the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles in 1989. He also played for the Philadelphia Phillies , Milwaukee , Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox . He batted .212 in 836 innings and only twice exceeded 100 games in a season.

In the Dominican winter league he played with Toros del Este, Tigres del Licey, Estrellas Orientales and Gigantes del Cibao.

 

B-R comps

  1. Al Glossop (971)
  2. Jim Anderson (970)
  3. Elliot Johnson (968)
  4. Reid Brignac (968)
  5. Al Brancato (967)
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Eddie Carnett 1916-2016

Two weeks after turning 100, the oldest living major league player has died. Eddie "Lefty" Carnett died in Ringling, Okla., with his family surrounding him, the Mariners announced.   Carnett played for the Braves, White Sox and Indians from 1941 to 1945. He also played for the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, among many other minor league clubs. He was an outfielder, first baseman and pitcher. He was also a player-manager for six seasons in the minor leagues. 

http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/news/eddie-lefty-carnett-dies-at-100-braves-white-sox-indians-seattle-rainiers/1pbctpe99konlztil63q8cbn9

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Carnett

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Dave Ferriss  1921-2016
 

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Former Red Sox pitcher David “Boo” Ferriss, who won 25 games for the 1946 pennant-winning team, died yesterday at his home in Cleveland, Miss. He was 94.

In 1946, when he was 24, the right-hander went 25-6 to help the Red Sox reach the World Series. He threw a six-hit, 4-0 shutout in Game 3 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals and started the decisive Game 7 in which the Sox lost, 4-3.  In his rookie year of 1945, he went 21-10 with a 2.96 ERA and finished fourth in the American League MVP voting.

“Those were great years for him,” said his widow, Miriam Ferriss, 94, yesterday from their home in Cleveland. “We love Boston and the Boston Red Sox. They’ve always been so thoughtful of us and have had us back plenty of times. We have fond memories of Boston.”

Ferriss pitched through 1950 for the Sox and was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2003. But he wasn’t the same after suffering an arm injury in ’47.

“It was a ballgame in Cleveland against the Indians on a cold night and it was 0-0 in the eighth inning,” Miriam said. “He broke off a curveball, probably, and felt it. Something popped in his arm. He kept pitching and Bobby Doerr hit a home run in the ninth inning and he won it. But the next day he couldn’t even lift his arm.”

Ferriss went 12-11 the following season, but the injury essentially ended his career. He returned to the team from 1955-59 as pitching coach and he and Miriam, who met in 1948, settled into a home in Needham.  Monday would have been their 68th wedding anniversary.

 

Hisashi Iwakuma is in his B-R comps list.

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John Barfield 1964 - 2016

Caught toeing someone else's rubber and paid the ultimate price

 

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(CNN)Former Texas Rangers pitcher John Barfield was shot and killed in a domestic incident on Christmas Eve in Little Rock, Arkansas, authorities said.

Barfield, 52, and his girlfriend were at his home when the woman's estranged husband, William Goodman, 59, of Pine Bluff came to the residence, said Little Rock police spokesman Lt. Steven McClanahan.
"Barfield was dating her even though she was still married," McClanahan said.
A physical altercation ensued and Goodman shot Barfield, police said.
Goodman was taken to the hospital, released and charged with first-degree murder. There is no attorney listed for Goodman yet.
Barfield was a lefthander who had an 8-8 record from 1989-91 with the Rangers, according to Baseball-Reference.com. He appeared in 65 games with 11 starts and ended with a 4.72 ERA.
He was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and played at Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri and Oklahoma City University before being picked by the Rangers in the 1986 draft, Baseball-Reference.com said.

 

 
 
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Jackie Brown 1943-2017

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Former Texas Rangers pitcher and coach Jackie Brown died Sunday after battling a long illness.  Brown, of Holdenville, Okla., was 73.

The right-hander made his major-league debut with the Washington Senators in 1970. He also played with the Cleveland Indians and Montreal Expos during a seven-year playing career. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Phillies in 1962.

He pitched for the Rangers from 1973 to 1975 before being traded to the Indians during the 1975 season. His best year in the majors was 1974 when he was 13-12 with a 3.57 ERA. He had nine complete games, including two shutouts that season.

“He is a guy a lot of people felt was their best friend,” Rangers broadcaster and former teammate and roommate Tom Grieve said. “He was always in a good mood, the perfect teammate, one of those guys that everybody thought the world of.”

Brown was the Rangers’ pitching coach for managers Pat Corrales, Don Zimmer and Darrell Johnson from 1979 to 1982. He also coached for the White Sox (1992-95) and Rays (2002).

Brown’s brother Paul pitched in the majors with the Phillies in the 1960s. His nephew Daren Brown is a minor-league manager in the Seattle organization and was the Mariners’ interim manager for 50 games in 2010.

 


 

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Ventura is getting most of the attention but spare a moment for Andy Marte.  He was a top ten minor league prospect who never panned out but stuck it out in the minors, winter leagues, independent leagues and Korea.  I was happy for him when he made it back to the majors in 2014 after an eight year hiatus.  He didn't stick and didn't get recalled in September but getting back to the show must have been tremendously satisfying for him.  Nobody ever says anything bad about the dead but I'd heard good things about his temperament and love of the game when he was down in the minors.

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Bill Hands, twenty-game winner for the 1969 Cubs. 111 wins, not a bad career.

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Mr. Hands, who was born in Hackensack, N.J., spent 11 seasons in the majors, including seven years as a right-handed pitcher with the Cubs. He also spent short stints with the San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers, winning 111 games with a career earned run average of 3.35.

In 1969 he pitched to a 20-14 record and 2.49 ERA pitching for the Cubs, who were nine games ahead in first place in the National League East on Aug. 13, but ended up losing the division to the eventual champion New York Mets

 

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DALLAS GREEN, FIRST PHILLIES MANAGER TO WIN WORLD SERIES, DIES

 
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Dallas Green dies at age 82
Former Phillies manager Dallas Green dies at age 82. (AP Photo)
 
 
Dallas Green, the first Philadelphia Phillies manager to win a World Series, has died.

"We mourn the passing of Dallas Green. The Phillies have lost a great man and wonderful friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family," the Phillies tweeted.
 
Green was 82 years old.

Green was born in Newport, Delaware in 1934. He graduated from Conrad High School in 1952 and attended the University of Delaware until he signed with the Phillies as a pitcher in 1955.

Green played 13 years of professional baseball (1955-67), including parts of eight seasons in the majors with the Phillies (1960-64; 67), Washington Senators (1965) and New York Mets (1966).

Following his three years as a minor league instructor, Green was named assistant to Paul Owens, the Phillies' director of minor leagues at the time. He was promoted to director of minor leagues in 1972, a position he held until taking over as Phillies manager on August 31, 1979.

The following season, he became the 17th rookie manager in major league history to take his club to the World Series and the fourth to win it, leading the Phillies to their first world championship. He was also the winning manager in the 1981 All-Star Game.
 
 
Green joined the Chicago Cubs in 1982 as general manager and took on the additional role of team president from 1985-87. In addition, he was only the fourth person in major league history to manage both the New York Yankees (1988-89) and the New York Mets (1993-96).

ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote, "Dallas Green was one of the smartest people I ever met in baseball - & never afraid to say & do what he felt was right. Took on George Steinbrenner, building lights at Wrigley & veteran stars in Philly. RIP a great man."

Todd Zolecki, the Phillies writer for MLB.com, tweeted a favorite moment of his was Green speaking with Charlie Manuel after the 2008 World Series. They were talking about being the only two Phillies managers to win it all, Zolecki said.

 

 

Edited by Long Ball Larry
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1 hour ago, Long Ball Larry said:
 

Green joined the Chicago Cubs in 1982 as general manager and took on the additional role of team president from 1985-87. 

Traded Ivan De Jesus to Philadelphia for Larry Bowa, with a throw-in player named Ryne Sandberg.

Two years after that, traded Mike Diaz and Bill Campbell to Philadelphia for Gary Matthews and Bob Dernier. 

Drafted Rafael Palmeiro/Greg Maddux/ and Mark Grace (who he got in the 24th round).

Rumor has always been that Dennis Eckersley told both Green and Don Zimmer that he could no longer give even five innings as a starter, but thought he could be a closer. Green thought it was worth a chance, but Zimmer thought Eckersley was a drunk with a shot arm. 

Jimmy Piersall used to host a radio talk show and I don't think he went more than a week without mentioning the occasion of his 100th career homerun and his running the bases backwards. Dallas Green was the pitcher who gave up the homerun. 

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4 hours ago, Encyclopedia Brown said:

Jimmy Piersall used to host a radio talk show and I don't think he went more than a week without mentioning the occasion of his 100th career homerun and his running the bases backwards. Dallas Green was the pitcher who gave up the homerun. 

Piersall was so ### ####ed great on the radio. So miss those days

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Former Phillies and Orioles reliever Todd Frohwirth died today at age 54.  He was a submariner righty who had some very good years (5.8 combined rWAR in 202 IP in 1991-92) for Baltimore.

Edited by Eephus
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Roy Sievers 1926-2017
 

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Roy Sievers, a St. Louisan who played for the hometown Browns and three other Major League Baseball franchises, died late Monday at his home in Spanish Lake. He was 90.

A product of Beaumont High, Sievers played in the major leagues for 17 seasons. A righthander who played first base and left field, Sievers had a career batting average of .267, hit 318 home runs and drove in 1,147 runs. He was the American League Rookie of the Year for the Browns in 1949.

The Browns were sold after the 1953 season and moved from St. Louis to Baltimore, where they became the Orioles. Sievers was traded to the AL's Washington Senators before the 1954 season; he later played for the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. It was after his second stint with the Senators that he retired in 1965.

Sievers’ best season was with the 1957 Senators, when he finished third in Most Valuable Player balloting behind Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams. That year he batted .301 and led MLB in home runs (42), RBIs (114), extra-base hits (70) and total bases (331). He was a five-time All-Star.

Sievers is survived by a son, Rob, and a daughter, Shawn. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joan, and a son, David.

Sievers was a very good player for some very bad teams.  He never appeared in the post-season in any of his 17 MLB seasons.  The closest he came was being traded to the White Sox in the off-season after their 1959 AL pennant winning season, and being a member of the 1964 Phillies that collapsed in September.

Top Ten B-R Comps includes some familiar names

  1. Greg Luzinski (943.1)
  2. Vic Wertz (938.3)
  3. Rocky Colavito (931.1)
  4. Boog Powell (924.3)
  5. Joe Adcock (918.7)
  6. Willie Horton (918.5)
  7. Ron Gant (913.9)
  8. Jack Clark (913.7)
  9. Jermaine Dye (912.6)
  10. Rudy York (911.6)

 

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Steve Palermo
 

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Steve Palermo, whose career as a major league baseball umpire ended when he was shot and partly paralyzed in 1991 after intervening in a robbery outside a Dallas restaurant, died on Sunday in Overland Park, Kan. He was 67.  His wife, Debbie, said the cause was complications of lung cancer.

Mr. Palermo was in his 15th season as an American League umpire in 1991, with a reputation as one of the best callers of strikes and balls. On July 6, after umpiring at third base for a game between the California Angels and the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Tex., he went for dinner at Campisi’s Egyptian Restaurant in Dallas. When the bartender saw that two waitresses were being beaten and robbed by attackers in the parking lot, Mr. Palermo and five other men ran out to stop them.

Two attackers fled with a getaway driver, while Mr. Palermo and a friend chased a fourth man. After the man was subdued, his accomplices returned in their car, and one fired into the group with a .32-caliber pistol.  The bullet that struck Mr. Palermo “hit me, belt high, and tore a path through my body,” he told the NPR program “Only a Game” this year. “And then instantly, I was paralyzed. I just kind of melted into the pavement. I knew right away that oh boy, this is serious.”

After surgery, his doctor told him that it was unlikely that he would walk again. He rejected the prognosis, hoping that he would return to umpiring.  After three months of rehabilitation, he used crutches and leg braces to walk onto the field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, where he threw out the first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series.

“If I wanted to get out of this game, that would be one thing,” he said that day, adding, “But for somebody to take it away from me like this doesn’t feel right.” And, he told The St. Paul Pioneer Press, “I’m looking forward to being booed again.”

He never umpired again, but he would eventually walk with only a cane. “He was in chronic pain for 26 years, but he hid it well,” his wife, who married him five months before the shooting, said in an interview.

He was hired in 1994 by Major League Baseball as special assistant to Bud Selig, chairman of the Major League Executive Council (his title before he was elected commissioner), for which he studied the length of games, still a vexing problem for the sport. He also worked part time as an analyst for MSG Network on Yankees games from 1995 to 1997.  In 2000, M.L.B. hired him as an umpire supervisor, a position he held until his death.

 

 

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Jimmy Piersall 1929-2017
 

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Jimmy Piersall, the colorful former White Sox broadcaster and major-league outfielder of 17 seasons, died Saturday at a care facility in Wheaton at the age of 87.

Piersall played from 1950 to 1967 with the Red Sox, Indians, Senators, Mets and Angels. A two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner in center field, he owned a career .272 batting average with 256 doubles, 52 triples, 104 homers and 591 RBIs.

“Ted Williams said he was the greatest center fielder he ever saw,” Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson said Sunday. “Ted said he was never afraid of a wall, and back in those days they didn’t have many padded walls. Most of them were concrete. If you hit them, you were going to get hurt. But Ted said he never backed away from a wall.”

But Piersall is most famous in Chicago for teaming with Harry Caray on Sox broadcasts from 1977 until 1981, when he earned a reputation for saying whatever he wanted. His critiques of Sox manager Tony La Russa and some of the players irked the club’s front office, and he was fired in 1983.  He later became a roving outfield instructor with the Cubs.

Piersall battled mental illness throughout his life and even checked into a mental hospital in the middle of his playing career with what was later diagnosed as bipolar disorder. He wrote a book – “Fear Strikes Out” – about those struggles, and it was adapted into a movie in 1957.

His on-the-field antics made headlines in his playing days, and Harrelson recalled stories of him wearing a Beatles-style wig at the ballpark one day and running backward around the bases after hitting a home run.

“The first time I ever met him when I was a kid in Kansas City, we were finishing up BP, I’m coming in from the outfield,” Harrelson said. “I see this guy walking toward me, he goes, ‘Do you know who the bleep I am?’ I said, ‘Yes sir, Mr. Piersall.’ He said, ‘Well, don’t forget it.’"

 

 

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5 hours ago, Eephus said:

But Piersall is most famous in Chicago for teaming with Harry Caray on Sox broadcasts from 1977 until 1981, when he earned a reputation for saying whatever he wanted. His critiques of Sox manager Tony La Russa and some of the players irked the club’s front office, and he was fired in 1983.  He later became a roving outfield instructor with the Cubs

He called the wives of the players "horny broads". He criticized Ralph Garr for a bad defensive play and the next day around the batting cage Garr said something sarcastic about Piersall never making an error during his playing days, to which Jimmy replied by quoting his lifetime statistics. 

He hosted a radio show in the early-90's for a little while and he elaborated on some of the stories that made him famous. On running the bases backwards for his 100th homerun, he said he did it because Duke Snider had recently hit his 400th and it had hardly been mentioned. He decided that when he hit his 100th that he would do something that would be in all the papers and get him on "the Tonight Show with Sheckey Greene and Zsa Zsa Gabor".

Mickey Mantle appeared on his show and he told the story of how security at Yankee Stadium came to the dugout one game and pleaded with him to go out into centerfield and plead with the fans to calm down because Piersall was antagonizing them with his middle finger, sticking out his tongue, and security feared someone was going to come out of the stands after him.

Jimmy told the story (about a hundred times) of how he started one year leading the league in average, doubles and runs scored. Mantle had not played until almost May because of injury, and then was putting up weak stats. Mantle started the All-Star game, and forty years later Jimmy was still mad about it.

 

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Obviously my first impression of Piersall was from White Sox broadcasts with Harry. They were simply fearless together in the booth. Also remember in the 90s and early 2000s when Jimmy would do a weekly stint on local sports radio to instill his baseball wisdom upon the listening masses. Never failed to entertain and possessed a tremendous wit. Outside of Uecker, maybe my favorite baseball personality.

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Anthony Young Loses Again

:(

Former New York Mets pitcher Anthony Young died after previously being diagnosed with a brain tumor, the team announced Tuesday. 

He was 51. 

"Anthony was a true gentleman," former Mets pitcher Turk Wendell said, per the team's release. "At this year's fantasy camp, he told us he had a brain tumor. That was Anthony. He never ran away from anything."

Lenny Harris, who also spent time with the Mets during his 18-year MLBcareer, expressed his condolences on Twitter: 

Young joined the Mets in 1991 and proceeded to spend three seasons in the Big Apple before he latched on with the Chicago Cubs for the 1994-95 campaigns. Young lost an MLB record 27 games in a row from 1992 to '93. His death occurred on the anniversary of breaking the consecutive loss record, which came on June 27, 1993 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. 

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On 3/26/2017 at 1:00 PM, Eephus said:

Former Phillies and Orioles reliever Todd Frohwirth died today at age 54.  He was a submariner righty who had some very good years (5.8 combined rWAR in 202 IP in 1991-92) for Baltimore.

But which hand did he Frohwirth?

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Gene Conley 1930-2017
 

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Gene Conley, the former Washington State standout who will be remembered as the only man to win a World Series and an NBA championship, has died. He was 86.  The Boston Red Sox, for whom Conley played from 1961-63, said he died Tuesday.

Conley helped pitch the Milwaukee Braves to a World Series championship in 1957 and won three NBA titles with the Boston Celtics.

Conley, who was 6 feet 8, was a right-hander and three-time All-Star who spent 11 years in baseball with four teams (Boston Braves and Red Sox, Milwaukee and Philadelphia). He was the winning pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game in 1955, striking out the side in the 12th inning.

He was selected by the Celtics in the 10th round of the 1952 draft and, after spending most of the next six years playing only baseball, he returned to the NBA in 1958 and won three consecutive titles. He averaged 5.9 points and 6.3 rebounds in five seasons.

Born in Muskogee, Okla., Conley and his wife, Katie, established the Foxboro Paper Company in Foxborough, Mass.. They had three children and seven grandchildren.

 

 

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