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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Detroit Tigers great Bill Freehan dies at age 79 after long battle with Alzheimer’s disease

Former Detroit Tigers catcher Bill Freehan, a perennial All-Star and the quiet leader of 1968 world champions, has died at age 79 the team announced on Thursday. Freehan had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years, spending the last few years in under hospice care in his northern Michigan home.

Freehan is best remembered for the 1968 championship season when he caught 155 regular-season games, nearly all of Denny McLain’s 31 victories, before handling World Series MVP Mickey Lolich’s three complete-game victories. As the runner-up to McLain for the American League MVP award that year, Freehan posted career highs in home runs (25), RBIs (84) and runs scored (73).

“Longtime Tiger, arguably the best catcher in the history of the organization and deep Michigan roots,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said before Thursday’s game against the Angels at Comerica Park. “Condolences to his family and all the Tiger fans. (Pitching coach) Chris Fetter actually coached his grandson at the University of Michigan. Anybody that’s been around the organization for a long time, Al (Avila, general manager) and the group upstairs, (third base coach) Ramon Santiago, we were just talking about it inside, has a heavy heart today. A true Tiger.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 19, 2021 at 10:48 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: bill freehan, obituaries, tigers

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Report: Astros legend J.R. Richard dead at 71

J.R. Richard died in a Houston hospital at the age of 71 on Wednesday night, according to Fox 26’s Mark Berman, who cited an MLB source.

Richard, who was part of the Astros’ inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2020, pitched all 10 of his big league seasons with the Astros before his career was cut short when he suffered a stroke while playing catch inside the Astrodome on July 30, 1980.

Before the stroke, Richard was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, twice leading the National League in strikeouts and once in ERA. He held the Astros’ single-season strikeout record - he struck out 313 batters in 1979 - before Gerrit Cole broke it in 2019.

Richard, who started in the 1980 All-Star Game three weeks before the stroke, ranks third on the team’s all-time strikeouts list behind Nolan Ryan and Roy Oswalt and is fifth in franchise history in wins.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2021 at 12:41 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, j.r. richard, obituaries

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Former All-Star pitcher Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant, who spent 14 seasons in the majors, dies at 85

Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant, the first Black pitcher in American League history to win 20 games, has died at the age of 85. The Minnesota Twins, for whom Grant pitched for four of his 14 major league seasons, announced his passing on Saturday.

Across those 14 seasons, Grant went 145-119 with an ERA of 3.63 in 293 starts and 278 relief appearances. Along the way, Grant made two All-Star teams and in 1965 with Minnesota authored that history-making 21-win season. That same year, he also finished sixth in the AL MVP balloting. As well, Grant had strong numbers across two postseasons, with the Twins in 1965 and with the Oakland A’s in 1971, the final year of his MLB career.

Grant was born in 1935 in Lacoochee, Florida. He went on to become a two-sport athlete in baseball and football, at Florida A&M, but he was unable to graduate because of financial reasons. Not long after Grant was forced to drop out of college, the Cleveland Indians signed him. By 1958, he’d made the majors for good. In addition to playing for Cleveland and the Twins, Grant also spent time in the bigs with the Dodgers, Expos, A’s, Cardinals, and Pirates.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 12, 2021 at 08:07 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: mudcat grant, obituaries

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

‘Iron Mike’ Marshall, first reliever to win Cy Young Award, dies at 78

Mike Marshall, who became the first reliever to win the Cy Young Award when he set a major league record by pitching 106 games in a season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has died. He was 78.

Marshall died Monday night at home in Zephyrhills, Florida, where he had been receiving hospice care, according to the Dodgers, who spoke Tuesday to his daughter Rebekah. She did not give a cause of death.

The team planned a moment of silence for Marshall before a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Marshall pitched in the majors from 1967 to 1981 for nine teams, compiling a record of 97-112 and 3.14 ERA. He recorded 880 strikeouts and 188 saves.

Marshall won the National League Cy Young Award in 1974, going 15-12 with a 2.42 ERA and 21 saves. The right-hander nicknamed “Iron Mike” set major league records that season for most appearances (106), relief innings (208⅓), games finished (83) and consecutive games pitched (13).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 01, 2021 at 11:33 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: mike marshall, obituaries

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Joe Beckwith dies

Beckwith, 66, spent two seasons, 1984 and 1985, with the Royals and was on the 1985 team which won the Major League Baseball World Series Championship that season.

During his two seasons with the Royals, Beckwith pitched nearly 196 innings for the team, posted a 3.73 earned run average (ERA) and struck out 155 batters.

Beckwith also spent five years with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2021 at 06:21 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: joe beckwith, obituaries

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Bucs ‘70s star Rennie Stennett dies

Rennie Stennett, who set a Major League record that still stands by going 7-for-7 in a nine-inning game and played nine of his 11 seasons as a second baseman for the Pirates, died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. He was 72.

Stennett played for the Pirates from 1971-79, including for the World Series champions in ‘79. He did not play in the ‘71 postseason as Pittsburgh won the World Series that year.

“We are saddened by the loss of such a beloved member of the Pirates family. Rennie was a great player on the field, and an even better person off of it,” Pirates president Travis Williams said. “A member of our World Series championships in both 1971 and 1979 who remained a very active and cherished member of our Alumni Association, Rennie symbolized what it meant to be a Pittsburgh Pirate.”

Stennett was the leadoff batter when the Pirates fielded MLB’s first all-Black and Latino starting lineup in 1971. And he had hits in all seven of his at-bats in a 22-0 win against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in 1971. His first hit was off Chicago starter Rick Reuschel; his seventh was against Paul Reuschel, Rick’s brother.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2021 at 01:10 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, pirates, rennie stennett

Friday, May 07, 2021

Former manager, coach Ray Miller dies at 76

Ray Miller, the longtime big league pitching coach who worked for the Orioles, Twins and Pirates and who managed Baltimore when Cal Ripken Jr. decided to end his Major League record consecutive games played streak in 1998, died on Tuesday. He was 76.

An Orioles Hall of Fame inductee in 2010, Miller tutored several generations of Orioles hurlers across three stints as pitching coach, from 1978-85, 1997 and 2004-05. He succeeded Davey Johnson as manager in 1998, posting a 157-167 record over two seasons at the helm in Baltimore. Miller also managed the Twins from 1985-86 and served as the Pirates’ pitching coach from 1987-96.

On Sept. 20, 1998, Ripken walked into Miller’s office to announce he was ending his record consecutive games streak at 2,632. Miller then tabbed rookie Ryan Minor to replace Ripken at third base that evening.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 06:00 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, ray miller

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Former skipper Del Crandall dies at 91

Former catcher and manager Del Crandall—who was the last living Boston Braves player and an 11-time National League All-Star after that franchise moved to Milwaukee, and who as Milwaukee Brewers manager in 1974 installed an 18-year-old Robin Yount at shortstop on Opening Day—has died. He was 91.

Crandall played parts of 16 seasons with the Braves, Giants, Pirates and Indians from 1949-66, with a two-year absence in the early 1950s, when Crandall served in the U.S. Army. He hit at least 15 home runs in eight seasons, won four Gold Glove Awards, and developed a reputation as one of the most savvy catchers in the game before continuing his career as a manager in the Minor Leagues and later in the Majors with the Brewers (1972-75) and Mariners (1983-84).

Crandall passed away at home in Southern California on Wednesday afternoon after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and a series of strokes, his son, Jeff, wrote on Facebook.

“He was an amazing husband, father and leader,” Jeff Crandall said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:44 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dell crandall, obituaries

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Former Cubs player, White Sox minor-league manager Adrian Garrett dies at 78

Adrian Garrett, who spent eight seasons in the major leagues and then went on to a coaching career, has died. He was 78.

Garrett died Thursday of pneumonia at Ascension Seton Hays Hospital in Kyle, Texas, New York Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said Friday. Adrian Garrett’s younger brother, Wayne, was the third baseman on the 1969 World Series champion Mets.

A catcher and an outfielder, Adrian Garrett was born in Brooksville, Florida, and is a graduate of Sarasota High School. He signed with the Milwaukee Braves in 1961 and made his debut with the Atlanta Braves on April 13, 1966.

He was 0 for 3 in four games for the Braves that year and did not return to the big leagues until 1970 with the Cubs. He played for the Cubs through 1973 and again in 1975 and also for Oakland (1971-72) and the California Angels (1975-76). He hit .185 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs in 163 games.

Garrett spent 1977-79 with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Japan’s Central League, winning a Japan Series title in his final season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 25, 2021 at 12:22 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian garrett, obituaries

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Tom Robson, former MLB player and coach, dies at age 75

ormer major league player and coach Tom Robson has died. He was 75.

Robson died of natural causes on Tuesday at Memory Care Facility in Chandler, New York Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said Wednesday.

Taken by the Mets in the 50th round of the 1967 amateur draft, Robson played two seasons in the major leagues, both with the Texas Rangers. He batted .208 with four RBIs over 23 games and 54 plate appearances in 1974 and ‘75, playing first base and designated hitter.

His last season as a player was with Nankai in Japan’s Pacific League in 1976.

Robson coached in the Rangers organization, serving as minor league hitting instructor from 1982 to ‘85 and then as a member of manager Bobby Valentine’s coaching staff from 1986 to ‘92.

“As a hitting coach, Robbie was ahead of his times,” Valentine said in a statement. “He used kinetics and launch angle before anyone else did.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 22, 2021 at 10:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, tom robson

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Bobby Brown, beloved fixture of Yankees glory days, dead at 96

Bobby Brown, a member of five Yankees championship teams who went on to become a successful cardiologist as well as president of baseball’s American League, died Thursday morning in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 96.

A lefty-hitting third baseman who also saw time at shortstop, second base and all three outfield positions, Brown won rings with the Yankees in 1947 and from 1949-1952, a supporting player to titans such as Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle. He posted a respectable .269/.367/.376 slash line across eight seasons (1946-1952, 1954) and went .439/.500/.707 in 17 World Series games. He became more popular among fans of later generations as he regularly attended the Yankees’ Old-Timers’ Day through the most recent one in 2019.

“Few people who have worn the pinstripes have lived such an accomplished, fulfilled, and wide-ranging life as Dr. Brown, who was beloved by our organization for his warmth, kindness and character,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “He represented the pinstripes with elegance throughout his playing career and in subsequent decades as a frequent, welcome guest at Old Timers’ Day. We also hold the utmost respect for the myriad of other accomplishments in his life — from service to our country, his stewardship of the American League and his longtime career as a cardiologist. The Yankees extend their deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones as we reflect on his incredible life.”

A veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, Brown worked exclusively in cardiology from 1954 to 1974 before joining the Texas Rangers as their president in May 1974. That proved to be a temporary gig through the end of the season, yet he stayed on the Rangers’ Board of Directors until the team’s sale in 1980. He then served as the AL’s president from 1984 until 1994.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2021 at 03:04 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby brown, obituaries

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

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 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.

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

 

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

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