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Obituaries Newsbeat

Monday, September 22, 2014

MLB: Braves fire GM Frank Wren; John Hart to take over interim position

Nobody is surprised.

ATLANTA—Nearing the end of their most disappointing season in more than two decades, the Braves have decided to begin altering the organization’s culture by relieving general manager Frank Wren of his duties. Wren learned of his termination on Monday morning.

John Hart, former GM of the Indians and Rangers who is one of Braves president John Schuerholz’s closest friends, was named interim GM, but he has made it known that he enjoys his work as a MLB Network analyst too much to take on a full-time position with the club. Still, he will play a key role in the transition period to a new GM.

Esoteric Posted: September 22, 2014 at 11:15 AM | 149 comment(s)
  Beats: atlanta braves, obituaries

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Pete Van Wieren, longtime Braves broadcaster, passes away

Pete Van Wieren, the longtime Atlanta Braves broadcaster, passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 69 after his long battle with cancer.

Another all-time great gone.

PeteF3 Posted: August 02, 2014 at 01:09 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, obituaries

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Tom Veryzer, shortstop for Tigers and Indians, dies at 61

Former Tigers and Indians shortstop Tom Veryzer, who played in the big leages for 12 years, died Thursday at the age of 61, according to The Oakland Press.

Veryzer was drafted by the Tigers with the No. 11 overall pick in the 1971 MLB Draft and was the team’s starting shortstop from 1975 to 1977. Detroit traded him to the Indians that offseason to make room for Alan Trammell. He played for Cleveland until 1981 before ending his career with stints with the Mets (1982) and Cubs (1983-84).

He hit .241/.283/.294 with 14 homers in 996 MLB games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:44 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, mets, obituaries, tigers, tom veryzer

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-19-2014

Pittsburgh Press, June 19, 1914:

Bert Dorr, the first man to master the art of curving a baseball, died at his home [in Binghamton, New York] today. Dorr was considered one of the game’s greatest pitching stars in the old days. He was a member of both the old Cincinnati and Washington teams.

Seemed like the sort of player I’d want to learn more about, so I looked him up. Dorr was ten years old when Candy Cummings made his “major” league debut, so it’s tough to make a case for him as the inventor of the curveball. He never played for Cincinnati or Washington, as far as I can tell, and only made 8 MLB appearances, going 2-6 for the 1882 Brown Stockings.

Still, he appears to have been a pretty good player. Put up a 108 ERA+ as a 20-year-old in his only big league season, then went to the Interstate Association the next season and put up a 2.22 ERA. He largely vanishes from the record books after that. SABR has him appearing for Albany in 1885, but there are no more records of Dorr as a pro ballplayer after that.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: June 19, 2014 at 07:36 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: bert dorr, dugout, history, obituaries

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Deadspin: I Was Tony Gwynn’s Bat Boy

Drop whatever it is you’re reading now, and go read this instead.

One day, one of the bat boys showed up wearing an earring. Bright gold and massive. The Giants were in town. During batting practice, Will Clark walked by and sneered, “Nice earring, faggot.” The words were stunning, but we knew we had to react like it was no big thing. News must’ve gotten around, though, because before the next game, Tony walked back to the locker room area with Bip Roberts and performed an entire routine for us. They had evidently practiced it during batting practice. They stood lecturing us, using every “how to talk like an older white guy” cliché in the book. “Now listen, son,” Tony started, stopping periodically to catch his breath, as he was laughing too hard. “You’re bringing down the team here, with that earring.” “Very, very unprofessional,” Bip added, haughtily. They walked away, howling with laughter, the point made: Will Clark was a dick.

Before one game, early in the season, I stood out in right field during batting practice, arms folded. Tony walked over. “Want to toss?” he asked. Trembling with nervousness, I said, “Yeah,” and tried to act like this was nothing to me. My first toss went about 30 feet over his head. He laughed and ran after it. Second toss, only 15 feet over his head. He jogged over to me. “How are you holding that ball?” he asked. I showed him my grip. “Well hell, that’s all wrong.” A 10-second lesson, and we were good to go. He fired a rocket to me. I fielded it cleanly and threw it back using my new grip. This time only five feet overhead. He laughed again, harder this time. I got myself under control, and we threw for 10 minutes, just us. At one point I stopped, realizing that some kids were watching. They were watching me. They were watching me playing catch with Tony Gwynn. I could read their thoughts: “That kid is so lucky.” I was. On my way back to the clubhouse, one of the kids, some poor 6-year-old totally overcome by the moment, asked me for my autograph. I signed his program. Tony watched. He laughed the whole time.

Esoteric Posted: June 18, 2014 at 02:23 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of class, hall of fame, obituaries, san diego padres

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Gwynn men: A son’s love, a father’s fight | Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia

Reports all over Twitter that HOF Tony Gwynn has passed away.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM | 216 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, padres, tony gwynn

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Baseball icon Don Zimmer dies at 83 | MLB.com

A unique baseball personality passes. The world is not the same.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2014 at 09:35 PM | 220 comment(s)
  Beats: don zimmer, obituaries

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Zander Hollander, Sports Trivia Shepherd, Dies at 91

Zander Hollander, a journeyman journalist who rebounded from the merger of his newspaper in the mid-1960s by becoming what Sports Illustrated called “the unofficial king of sports paperbacks” — particularly a once wildly popular series of encyclopedic yearbooks — died on Friday in a nursing home in Manhattan. He was 91.

The cause was Alzheimer’s disease, his wife, Phyllis, said.

Before televised sports were pervasive and the Internet a nonstop gusher of sports trivia, Mr. Hollander found a niche in the market by annually providing statistics, team rosters, records, schedules and predictions for the coming season in the form of brick-size tomes he titled “Complete Handbooks.” He offered them for hockey, baseball, soccer and college and professional football and basketball…

The yearbooks were just one part of Mr. Hollander’s body of work. He also chronicled sports bloopers and wrote a history of Madison Square Garden, among other subjects. All told, he edited, wrote or packaged 300 books.

His wife said that, with her help and occasionally that of assistants, Mr. Hollander churned out books like an assembly line, starting with the submission of an outline to a publishing house. If the idea was accepted, he would recruit well-known writers in the appropriate field. He assembled photographs, wrote captions and did all the editing…

While writing for [The World-Telegram newspaper], Mr. Hollander became friendly with a young lawyer, Howard Cosell, who rode the same bus. Mr. Cosell represented the Little League of New York and had been asked by the local radio station WABC to host a show featuring Little League players. Mr. Hollander agreed to help out by writing scripts and recruiting sports celebrities. Neither man was paid, but it was the beginning of Mr. Cosell’s sports broadcasting career.

The District Attorney Posted: April 20, 2014 at 10:56 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: books, obituaries, zander hollander

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rox sign Jaime Moyer to Minor League deal

Fun fact: When the Rockies came into existence, Jaime Moyer was in his eighth Major League season.

The Rockies’ search for a veteran for the starting rotation could take them to the ultimate veteran, 49-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer.

Colorado and Moyer have agreed to a Minor League deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, the club announced on Wednesday. The agreement is pending a physical.

Moyer underwent Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow in 2010 and didn’t pitch last season. The lefty worked as an analyst for ESPN in 2011 but stated that he intended to try to pitch again in ‘12.

Moyer went 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA for the Phillies in 2010.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 09:14 PM | 128 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, phillies, rockies

Former American League umpire Marty Springstead is dead at age 74

Marty Springstead, who at the age of 36 in 1973 became the youngest umpire crew chief in World Series history, has died. He was 74.

Major League Baseball said Wednesday that Springstead was found dead at his home in Florida on Tuesday night.

A native of Nyack, N.Y., Springstead was an American League umpire from 1966-85. Among his three World Series were 1978 and 1983, and he also was an umpire at the All-Star game in 1969, 1975 and 1982 and at five AL championship series.

After retiring from the field, he became the AL’s executive director of umpires, then worked as an umpire supervisor for MLB after umpire staffs from the leagues merged.

He retired from his management position before the 2010 season.

“For a quarter-century, Marty mentored a new generation of our umpires, not only in the major leagues but around the world,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “Marty was an avid teacher, a great storyteller and a friend to countless people around our game. Like so many of my colleagues, I always appreciated his wonderful sense of humor and the pride he had for his profession.”

Thanks to Rod Nelson.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:09 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: history, obituaries

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Don Carter, USBC and PBA Hall of Famer, dies at age 85

Farewell to “The Babe Ruth of Bowling”...

Don Carter, one of the most prominent and successful players in the sport of bowling, died at his home in Miami on Thursday night. Carter, who had recently been hospitalized with pneumonia complicated by emphysema, was 85.

...Born in St. Louis, Mo., on July 29, 1926, Carter was more interested in baseball and football while in high school. After graduation, he served two years in the Navy before signing a baseball contract with the Philadelphia Athletics. He was sent to the minor league team in North Carolina.

In a Bowlers Journal interview in 1970, Carter said he hit .304 and did pitch some games, but the team played 128 games in 112 days and he lost 30 pounds from his 180-pound frame.

“I got $150 a month plus room and board,” Carter recalled. “Riding that bus all over the countryside to games was too much. I quit after a season.”

That would lead Carter back home to St. Louis and the start of his career in bowling.

Minor league stats

Repoz Posted: January 07, 2012 at 09:26 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Former Major Leaguer Howie Koplitz passes away at 73

What is there to say…

Howie Koplitz

Repoz Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:43 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, obituaries, tigers

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Andy Carey, helped preserve Larsen’s perfecto, dies

RIP,

Andy Carey, a former Yankees third baseman who helped preserve Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game, passed away on Dec. 15 in Costa Mesa, Calif., his family announced. He was 80.

A career .260 hitter, Carey played in 11 Major League seasons from 1952-62, beginning with the Yankees at age 20 in ‘52 and spending nine seasons wearing pinstripes.

Born on Oct. 18, 1931, in Oakland, Calif., Carey signed with the Yankees after spending a summer playing semi-pro ball in Weiser, Idaho. As New York’s everyday third baseman in ‘55, Carey led the league with 11 triples and was known as a solid defender and clutch hitter.

Carey played on four Yankees World Series teams, winning rings with the 1956 and ‘58 squads. He is remembered as playing a key role in Larsen’s Oct. 8, 1956, perfecto against the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium.

Repoz Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:58 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, obituaries, royals, white sox, yankees

Monday, January 02, 2012

Ted Beard, 90. Played for Pirates, White Sox.

Ted Beard 90, professional baseball player and WWII veteran, passed away December 30, 2011 with his family by his side. Ted, voted most popular player for the Indianapolis Indians in 1948 and 1951, began his professional career in 1941. His career was interrupted to serve in the Pacific Theatre in WWII.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/beardte01.shtml.

 

Repoz Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:32 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Friday, December 30, 2011

St. Louisian Don Mueller, former big-league star, dies

Don Mueller...

St. Louis native Don Mueller, who led the majors in hits in 1954 and roamed the outfield with Willie Mays of the New York Giants, died on Wednesday. He was 84.

Mueller, who played at CBC, was signed by the Giants in 1944 and made his big-league debut four years later.

At age 23, he became a starter for the Giants in right field and hit .291 in his first full season.

...A career .296 hitter, Mueller became known as “Mandrake the Magician.” He finished his career with two seasons with the White Sox in 1958 and 59.

 

Repoz Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:53 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, obituaries, white sox

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-28-2011

Milwaukee Journal, December 28. 1911:

[Red Sox manager] Jake Stahl says that he is sure he has no more dead players on his list. Since he discovered Lockwood, the dead Vancouver man on the list, he has been over it very carefully.

Cross him off, then.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 28, 2011 at 03:14 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, obituaries

Thursday, December 22, 2011

CBC: Alberta shooting victim’s baseball-themed funeral draws 600

Farewell to the ballplayers…

The mother of Mitch MacLean — a ballplayer from P.E.I. who was killed in an Alberta murder-suicide last week — read her poem called Last Time at the Plate during her son’s funeral that was attended by hundreds.

Cars were lined up along the road by Winsloe United Church, just north of Charlottetown, for the service. An overflow room was set up for those who could not get one of the 220 seats in the chapel. An estimated 600 attended.

A former girlfriend of MacLean’s, Melia Thompson, said after the service it was “exactly what Mitch would’ve wanted.”

MacLean was a promising young baseball player, and the sport played a prominent part in the service.

The poem read by his mother was one she had written herself. His casket left the church to the tune of Centerfield by John Fogerty.

 

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2011 at 07:10 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Deadspin: Legendary Columnist Bill Conlin Resigns Over Forthcoming Philly Inquirer Bombshell

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s top investigative reporter, Nancy Phillips, has written a story containing what we’re told are allegations of child molestation against sportswriter Bill Conlin, a longtime columnist at the rival Daily News. Conlin resigned just moments ago, according to a source at the Daily News.

Conlin, who turns 78 this May, won the Ford C. Frick Award last May. The story supposedly will drop soon (the newspapers publish under a joint-operating agreement, sharing some resources and a website but otherwise competing for the same readers). Conlin has hired an attorney to defend himself against the piece. We’ll have more details on this. For now, we can tell you that Conlin is at his condo in Largo, Fla.

And Bill Conlin’s articles on BTF...

Tripon Posted: December 20, 2011 at 07:47 PM | 283 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, media, obituaries, phillies, rumors, special topics

Friday, November 25, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-25-2011

Milwaukee Journal, November 25, 1944:

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, commissioner of baseball since 1921, died at St. Luke’s hospital Saturday morning at 5:35.  He was 78 years old.
...

Landis, a gruff speaking old man with shaggy white hair, battered hat and keen wit, became a legend in his lifetime.  He was noted for his fairness and as a man who always gave the underdog a break.

Unless they had too much melanin.  In which case they were screwed.

In all seriousness, though, the linked article is an excellent obituary.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 25, 2011 at 10:45 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, obituaries

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On The Passing Of Greg Halman

I don’t even feel right referring to Greg as a baseball player. Obviously he was a baseball player, and that was how we knew him, but I don’t feel right giving him that label, that identity. Still, while “baseball player” wasn’t Greg Halman’s full identity, it was a part of it, so it’s worth noting how much Halman achieved, and what he came to represent. He wasn’t just a Mariners prospect on the brink of a big league career. He was the first Dutch-born, Dutch-raised, and Dutch-developed player in Major League history, and from the bottom of Geoff Baker’s piece:

[Coach] Chlup said Halman was surprised that so many fans in the Czech Republic seemed to know who he was. Other than [Prince] Fielder, Chlup said, Halman got the loudest reception of any player introduced to the crowds.

“He knew that, for a lot of Dutch kids, he was the one who got it done.”

Halman was one of the faces of European baseball. In one sense, he was trying to make it. In another sense, he already had…

Greg Halman was born in Haarlem in 1987. He learned four languages. He graduated from college. He signed with the Seattle Mariners in 2004. He represented his country in 2009. He made the Major Leagues in 2010. He hit his first Major League home run in 2011. All the while he comported himself with an eagerness and a joie de vivre sufficient for envy. This is a paragraph summary of Greg Halman’s life, and I hate it. I hate that it’s insultingly brief, and I hate that it had to be written.

The District Attorney Posted: November 23, 2011 at 02:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, obituaries

Monday, November 21, 2011

Daily Mail: Seattle Mariners’ Halman [fatally] stabbed

Ugh.  Just ugh.

Seattle Mariners baseball star Gregory Halman has been killed in a stabbing in Rotterdam.

Dutch national TV station NOS-TV said the family of Halman, 24, had confirmed his death.

Yes, we can all agree that he’s not a star.  That makes this no less horrific.  RIP, Greg.

Update: Reuters reports Halman’s brother has been arrested in connection with the stabbing.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: international, mariners, obituaries

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-21-2011

Milwaukee Sentinel, November 21, 1911:

The proposed deal which is said to involve the transfer of the Boston Rustlers to a company headed by Henry Killilea of Milwaukee and Charles Baird of Kansas City is off.
...

Should the present owners of the Rustlers come down a little in the price quoted there many be some chance of the deal going through.

That seems unlikely, because…

Boston Evening Transcript, November 21, 1911:

William Hepburn Russell, president and chief owner of the Boston Baseball Club of the National League, died this morning at his home.

That tends to throw a monkey wrench into negotiations.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:51 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dugout, history, obituaries

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Charlie Lea, former major league pitcher, found dead at Collierville home

Charlie Lea...RIP.

Former major league pitcher Charlie Lea, a star at Kingsbury High and then-Memphis State University before embarking on a successful pro career, was found dead in his Collierville home Friday. He was 54.

Collierville Police Chief Larry Goodwin said Lea died of a suspected heart attack.

Winner of 62 games in an eight-year major league career that ended with the Minnesota Twins in 1988, Lea pitched a no-hitter for the Montreal Expos against the San Francisco Giants in 1981, and was the starting and winning pitcher for the National League in the 1984 All-Star Game.

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 04:38 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, obituaries, twins

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Some ‘food for thought’

The area lost another of its sports gems with the passing of Paul “Jake” Martin on Tuesday.

For those who don’t know, Martin grew up in Fayette City, was a graduate of Marion High School and played with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1955.

He pitched two scoreless innings against the Brooklyn Dodgers after signing his pro contract, which included a $20,000 signing bonus, and later that season suffered an arm injury that cut short his career. He pitched in seven games for the Pirates before the injury.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 09, 2011 at 10:03 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, pirates

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Cardboard appreciation: 1976 Topps Mickey Scott

Remembering Mickey Scott...

Scott continued to live in Binghamton after his career. He opened a bar, called “Mickey’s Mound,” which I remember driving by when I was a teenager, having no idea that it was Mickey SCOTT’s Mound. I wonder how the conversation would have went if I asked my folks if we could just pop into a bar to see if a former major leaguer was there. (Mickey’s Mound is now The Brass Lantern Tavern).

Scott pitched for a Yankees farm team, the Binghamton Triplets, during the 1960s, and kept his connections to the Yankees after his career, working in various capacities. Yankees manager Billy Martin often frequented Scott’s bar.

But on Sunday, Scott went out to rake leaves. He never returned. His lifeless body was found slumped over outside of his home in Binghamton. Relatives believe he suffered a heart attack or stroke. Mickey Scott was 64.

In this article, Scott’s sister calls her brother a “super, super guy” and “fun-loving.” “Mickey was a hell-raiser, but everyone had good things to say about him,” she said.

Hell-raiser indeed. His card sure raised hell with me in that basement in 1976.

 

Repoz Posted: November 03, 2011 at 11:51 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, expos, history, obituaries, orioles

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