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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Obituaries Newsbeat

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ken Johnson, Only Loser of 9-Inning No-Hitter, Dies at 82

His son Kenneth Jr. said that his father had been bedridden with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and that he died after contracting a kidney infection.

For three seasons in the heart of his career, 1965-67, pitching for the Houston Astros and the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves (the franchise moved after the 1965 season), Johnson was an effective starter, going 43-27 with 26 complete games. It was earlier, however, on April 23, 1964, that while pitching for Houston (then known as the Colt .45s) against the Cincinnati Reds, he claimed his spot in history.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

UPDATED: Staten Island Sports Hall of Famer and legendary baseball scout George Genovese dead at 93 |

A real scouting legend passes.

Legendary baseball scout George Genovese, who left his family’s Clove Road home for the minor leagues in the days before World War II and remained in the game for the next 75 years, scouting and signing the likes of Bobby Bonds, Dave Kingman and George Foster, died Sunday in Burbank, Ca., following a brief illness.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2015 at 06:36 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, scouts

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-10-2015

Pittsburgh Press, November 10, 1915:

Word comes from Havana of the death of a well-known Cuban player. Jose Figarola, who was killed by a pitched ball thrown by Mendez in a practice game on October 22. Figarola was at bat and the ball hit him over the heart. He died almost instantly.

Rumors of Figarola’s demise were greatly exaggerated. As Gary Ashwill writes over at the wonderful Agate Type blog, Jose Figarola (also known as Rafael Figarola) was very much alive and even started at catcher for Almendares on October 25, 1915. He was still playing pro baseball as late as 1923. Not bad for a guy who’d been dead for eight years.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 10, 2015 at 08:21 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, obituaries

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-5-2015

Virginia (Minnesota) Enterprise, November 5, 1915:

Today the Federal league exists in name only, and unless all signs fail next Tuesday will see the formal dissolution of one of the most remarkablke organizations in the history of promoting, says the [Chicago] Examiner today.
Not a wheel is being turned in the Federal league today and the present expectation is that nothing remains but the completion of the innumerable transactions that will effectually wind up James A. Gilmore’s organization.

A moment of silence, please, for the most audacious (and crazy) baseball organization of the 20th century. Sometimes David doesn’t slay Goliath. Sometimes he just gets stepped on.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 05, 2015 at 10:02 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history, obituaries

Friday, October 30, 2015

CNN: ESPN ‘suspending’ publication of Grantland, effective immediately

It’s high time Grantland was killed off; aside from a few pieces here and there, Bill Simmons’ vanity project will emphatically not be missed.

“After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise,” the sports network said in a statement.

It praised Grantland for having “quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun” and singled out Simmons for being “an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent.”

Esoteric Posted: October 30, 2015 at 02:27 PM | 201 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Poz: Yogi

The image that lingers is from the last time at Yogi’s last birthday party. Yogi looks up; he is 90. Rachel is 92. Their eyes meet. They say what they always say when they see each other.

“Safe,” Rachel says.

“Out,” Yogi says.

And then they hug for a long time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pine Belt Major League Baseball player dies

Walter Young Junior played for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005, and since 2011 he worked as a resource officer for the Lamar County School District.
Young was 35 years old.

Much, much too soon.

Young hit the longest home run I’ve ever seen in person. I’ll never forget him.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Former MLB pitcher Joaquin Andujar, 62, dies after battle with diabetes

Former major league pitcher Joaquin Andujar, who helped lead the St. Louis Cardinals to the 1982 World Series title, died Tuesday in the Dominican Republic after a long battle with diabetes. He was 62.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 08, 2015 at 06:40 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, joaquin andujar, obituaries

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ford: Utley’s berating a death knell for Sandberg’s tenure

What currency Sandberg still held in the clubhouse and within the organization was spent in those moments, not necessarily because Utley was right, but because his crime against the most hallowed tenet of the game, not showing up the manager, went entirely unpunished and ignored. Outside the walls, it might have been just another blip on a downward arc. Within them, it was a sea change that not a player, coach, nor management official failed to recognize. Fair or not, Sandberg lost his job right then.

And the zinger:

The tragicomic scene of a phone ajar from the hook, causing McClure to resort to sending a towel-waving signal to the bullpen, was a metaphor for an organizational failure that extends far beyond the field. Forget analytics and advanced baseball strategy. This team can’t master a land line. If the Cardinals wanted to hack into the deepest secrets of the Phillies, they would have to research the intricacies of the Commodore 64.

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: June 20, 2015 at 10:09 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, phillies, ryne sandberg

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 08:14 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 04:09 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 08:26 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 05:43 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, obituaries, tigers

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Andy Carey, helped preserve Larsen’s perfecto, dies


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 02:58 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.


Repoz Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:32 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 12:53 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.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 28, 2011 at 02:14 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 06:10 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 06:47 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.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 25, 2011 at 09:45 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 01:51 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.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM | 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.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:51 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 03:38 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 09:03 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, pirates

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