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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cancer claims Kokomo great Tom Underwood

R.I.P…Tom Underwood.

Kokomo has lost one of its favorite sons.

Tom Underwood, who pitched in the major leagues in 1974-84, died around midnight on Monday in West Palm Beach, Fla., following an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

Underwood’s older brother, Mark, said a memorial service is planned in Florida. The family is considering plans for a local service at a later date.

Underwood was the first local player to reach the majors and with 86 career wins, he set the standard for those who have followed. He was selected by the Tribune as Howard County’s greatest athlete of the 20th century.

In a 1999 interview, Underwood said he had no disappointments about his baseball career.

“For 10 years I saw the entire U.S. for free and had five months vacation. I just wish I could have played the game longer,” he said.

 

Repoz Posted: November 25, 2010 at 11:12 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, blue jays, cardinals, obituaries, orioles, phillies, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. vern_fuller_brushback Posted: November 25, 2010 at 01:57 PM (#3697225)
RIP Tom. We remember him well in Canada as a member of the Blue Jays. Btw, Jerry Morales hit the homerun in that 1-0 1979 game, which was played on May 31 actually. Despite pitching a complete 6-hit, 2-walk game, Tom Underwood's record fell to 0-7 that day.
   2. Bruce Markusen Posted: November 25, 2010 at 02:05 PM (#3697228)
Whenever I hear his name, the words "stylish left-hander" come to mind. He had such a smooth delivery. At one point, he looked like he would become a bigtime pitcher, but it never quite happened.

I believe he was part of the last rotation to have four left-handers on a fulltime bases. Guidry, John, Rudy May, and Underwood. A pretty good staff.
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 25, 2010 at 07:52 PM (#3697316)
Maybe I'm misremembering here, but didn't he try to avoid pitching against his brother when they were both in the majors?
   4. Dan Posted: November 26, 2010 at 03:42 AM (#3697422)
Weird. I had never heard of Kokomo, Indiana until I just read an article saying that Chrysler was investing in its facilities located there. Then I closed that out and came here, and there's an article linked from the Kokomo Tribune.
   5. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: November 26, 2010 at 04:03 AM (#3697425)
Weird. I had never heard of Kokomo, Indiana until I just read an article saying that Chrysler was investing in its facilities located there.


Yep. Chrysler got there fast and then they took it slow.
   6. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 26, 2010 at 04:10 AM (#3697429)
Weird. I had never heard of Kokomo, Indiana until I just read an article saying that Chrysler was investing in its facilities located there. Then I closed that out and came here, and there's an article linked from the Kokomo Tribune.

It's also where Ryan WHite was from. The hemophiliac kid w/ AIDS who was one of the faces of AIDS in the 1980s.

The KKK held a gigantic rally there around 1924, with over 100,000 from all over Indiana & the rest of the Midwest pouring in to help raise funds for a hospital there. (The town had a hospital, but it was a Catholic hospital).
   7. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: November 26, 2010 at 04:46 AM (#3697438)
My mother in law is a Kokomo native, so I spend some holidays there visiting her family, it is a struggling town, but has actually cut its unemployment nearly in half from 20%+ to about 12% currently. It seems the whole place is/was dependent on automotive, not just Chrysler, but tons of parts suppliers like Delco, et al.
   8. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 26, 2010 at 05:20 AM (#3697446)
Fictionally speaking, it was also the home of Bob's Country Bunker, where the Good Ole' Blues Brothers Boys Band played.
   9. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: November 26, 2010 at 05:26 AM (#3697458)
Terrible disease. RIP,
   10. Athletic Supporter is trying to remember your name Posted: November 26, 2010 at 06:32 AM (#3697469)
I believe he was part of the last rotation to have four left-handers on a fulltime bases. Guidry, John, Rudy May, and Underwood. A pretty good staff.


Probably doesn't count as "full-time basis," but at the start of 2009, the A's had four lefties (Eveland, Anderson, Braden, Outman) in their rotation. Of course, the A's being what they are, after about a month, these guys began dropping like flies.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: November 26, 2010 at 07:27 AM (#3697473)
Stayed at the Kokomo Ramada once during Indy 500 week, as did a colleague well-known to BBTF who passed away this year.

Not recommended. The hotel - or hell, any of that.

R.I.P. Tom Underwood
   12. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: November 26, 2010 at 07:54 AM (#3697476)
I traded a Tom Underwood card for a Wade Boggs rookie because my friend liked how close "Underwood" was to "underwear." That was before we knew anything about Boggs's underwear.
   13. haven Posted: November 27, 2010 at 12:19 AM (#3697804)
I just drafted him in my Scoresheet winter baseball league, '81-'84. RIP Mr. Underwood. 56 is way too young. Especially since he was only 7 years older than me.
   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 27, 2010 at 02:07 AM (#3697826)
following an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer

I know that's one of the worst forms of cancers, but I remember a neighbor from across the street when I was growing up, who was giving a party on Friday, complained of pains on Saturday, and was dead (from pancreatic cancer) on Monday.
   15. Magnum RA Posted: November 27, 2010 at 02:17 AM (#3697827)

I know that's one of the worst forms of cancers, but I remember a neighbor from across the street when I was growing up, who was giving a party on Friday, complained of pains on Saturday, and was dead (from pancreatic cancer) on Monday.


If I had to die from cancer, that ain't half bad.
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 27, 2010 at 02:28 AM (#3697830)
Yeah, as long as you didn't have to think about leaving a pair of teenaged girls parentless once you were out of your misery. Her youngish husband had died of a heart attack only a year or two earlier after getting into a shouting match with a neighbor.
   17. Tom T Posted: November 27, 2010 at 03:40 AM (#3697846)
For those who have/had children in the past 40 years, Kokomo is also where Normal Bridwell (Clifford) was from. (The actual "Emily Elizabeth" --- a niece, I believe? --- recently did a meet-n-greet for kids at one of the Indy museums).

The automotive industry is largely key to Kokomo (you can add Delphi Electronics to mrams's list), but there are also several aircraft component manufacturers there (e.g., Hanes).

Not recommended. The hotel - or hell, any of that.


Outside of cruising downtown on US 31 or going to the Ben Franklin, not sure there has ever really been much to do. The kids from Kokomo who were undergrads with us had spent an awful lot of time in their (mom's) basements working on computers, it seemed.... Lafayette is quite the happening place, by comparison.
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 27, 2010 at 05:09 AM (#3697868)
For those who have/had children in the past 40 years, Kokomo is also where Normal Bridwell (Clifford) was from. (The actual "Emily Elizabeth" --- a niece, I believe? --- recently did a meet-n-greet for kids at one of the Indy museums).


I'd imagine it was the Children's Museum, which is probably the best of its kind anywhere.

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