Tuesday, July 30, 2013
RIP, Drungo Hazewood. Never got a hit, but I’m sure his page has.
First, there was the name and origin. Drungo Hazewood.
And there was the body. A chiseled 6-foot-3, 210-pound athlete at Sacramento High School in 1977 with enough talent to be offered a scholarship to play tailback at USC and be a first-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles.
And the legacy. Nothing delighted Hazewood more later in life than his seven children and 10 grandkids. He served as something of a giggling jungle gym right up until his final hours.
The name, the physique and the legacy make for one of the most compelling figures and stories to come out of the tight-knit community of Oak Park.
Hazewood died Sunday morning in his South Sacramento home after a long battle with cancer, surrounded by family. He was 53.
...Hazewood was a playground legend in Oak Park in the early 1970s when he chased every kid’s dream of making it to the big leagues.
“We all looked up to Drungo as kids,” said Dion James, a first-round pick by the Brewers in 1980. “It’s so sad to hear this. You’d never believe that the great, strong Drungo Hazewood could ever be ill. He was special, and he had that great name.”
Posted: July 30, 2013 at 10:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
Monday, July 29, 2013
Tough day… RIP, Frank Castillo.
Frank Castillo, a former standout pitcher for Eastwood High School who played in the major leagues for 13 years, has died.
He was 44.
Castillo drowned in Bartlett Lake in Arizona near his home Sunday afternoon.
Authorities say divers are going back into the water today to look for his body and say Castillo was on a pontoon boat with a friend when he decided to go swimming.
Castillo’s friend reportedly called for help when Castillo did not come back up out of the water.
...Castillo was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and played for them for seven years. He also played for Colorado, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, and Florida.
He had a career 4.56 ERA and a record of 82 wins and 104 losses.
Posted: July 29, 2013 at 02:22 PM | 23 comment(s)
A newspaper in Mississippi is reporting former Red Sox slugger George Scott has passed away at age 69.
Scott, known as “Boomer,” was signed by the Red Sox as an amateur free agent in 1962 and made his major league debut with the Red Sox in 1966. He played eight seasons and part of another for the Red Sox from 1966 to 1971 and again from 1977 to 1979.
He also played for Milwaukee, Kansas City and the New York Yankees.
Scott had 271 career home runs and was an eight-time Gold Glove winner at first base. He led the American League in home runs in 1975 with 36.
Posted: July 29, 2013 at 01:18 PM | 40 comment(s)
Friday, June 28, 2013
Justin Miller, 35, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and Palm Harbor resident since 2002, was found dead Wednesday night, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities are investigating, but have not yet determined a cause of death, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said. His body was found shortly after 10:30 p.m., but the Sheriff’s Office would not say where it was found.
Miller played professional baseball for 15 years, most recently for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. During seven seasons in the majors, the right-hander also played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Florida Marlins and San Francisco Giants. He finished his career 24-14 with a 4.82 ERA.
Miller signed with the Rays in 2006 and came to spring training, then was assigned to Triple-A Durham, pitching in five games before being released and going to Japan.
Miller was perhaps best known for his heavily tattooed arms. In 2004, Major League Baseball required him to wear long sleeves on the mound after opposing hitters complained that the colorful tattoos distracted them at the plate. The requirement became known as the “Justin Miller Rule.”
Posted: June 28, 2013 at 08:32 PM | 8 comment(s)
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
After spending the last 60 years of his life in New Orleans, former Major League Baseball player Gene Freese passed away Wednesday morning from natural causes at the age of 79.
The man who claims to have given Pete Rose his “Charlie Hustle” nickname never left the Crescent City after spending the early part of his career playing for the New Orleans Pelicans—a Double-A, Minor-League team affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates during Freese’s tenure with the organization.
After a few years with the now-defunct Pelicans, Freese made his Major-League debut as a third baseman with the Pirates in the spring of 1955, but his career peaked while playing with the Cincinnati Reds in the early 1960s.
The Wheeling, W. Va., native experienced his best season as the starting third baseman on the 1961 Reds World Series team that lost to the “Murderers Row” Yankee team that featured a Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle fresh off a historic race to beat Babe Ruth’s 34-year-old home run record.
A member of the New Orleans Diamond Club Hall of Fame, Freese was a .254 career hitter with 115 homers and 877 hits through 1,115 games played.
Posted: June 19, 2013 at 08:33 PM | 13 comment(s)
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
RIP, Stan Lopata…
Stanley Edward Lopata died Saturday from heart complications at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania at age 87.
Stan played for the Phillies from 1948 to 1958, accumulating a .257 batting average with 25 triples, 116 home runs and 395 RBI in 822 games.
His biggest year was 1956 when he had 33 doubles, seven triples, 32 homers, 95 RBI and a .267 batting average. He was selected to the National League All-Star team in 1955 and 1956.
Among Phillies catchers, he holds the single-season records for triples (7) and homers (32), both set in 1956.
Stan was a member of the famous “Whiz Kids” team of 1950, which won the Phillies’ first National League pennant since 1915. Stan was sharing the catcher’s spot with Andy Seminick that season and batted .209 in 58 games. The team lost four straight to the New York Yankees in the World Series.
Posted: June 18, 2013 at 05:16 AM | 6 comment(s)
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