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Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Former Royals pitcher Mark Littell dies at the age of 69

He only gave up two home runs that 1976 season. The first came on July 10th to Pedro Garcia, a light-hitting second baseman for the Detroit Tigers. The second home run was one of the more infamous home runs in Royals history, the Chris Chambliss 9th inning ALCS walk-off.

I’d asked Mark once about that home run and he said, “I felt good coming out of the pen, but the fans started throwing crap on the field and by the time they got it all cleared off, I’d gotten a little chilly. I threw him (Chambliss) a high fastball and he went up and got it!” Video shows the pitch was high, probably a ball, but no matter. It sent the Yankees to the World Series. Littell, who never met a stranger, harbored no ill feelings about the home run. He gave it his best, as did Chambliss and that’s just how it turned out.

After the 1977 season, the Royals sent Littell and catcher Buck Martinez to St. Louis for their closer, Al Hrabosky. While Hrabosky struggled at times in Kansas City, Littell fit right in with the Cardinals, which were basically his hometown team. He had a stellar year in 1979, finishing 9-4 with 13 saves in 63 appearances and a 2.19 ERA. On August 10th, 1981, Pete Rose singled off Mark for his 3,631st career hit, which was good for the National League record.

Mark had a great sense of humor, he will be missed. RIP.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 06, 2022 at 12:24 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mark littell, obituaries

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   1. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: September 06, 2022 at 12:50 PM (#6094758)
I didn't read TFA but Littell hurt his arm in 1980 and was basically done at 27. From 1976-1979 he was a force in the bullpen though with 397.1 IP and a 2.70 ERA with a strikeout per inning in an era when that wasn't standard for relievers.
   2. salvomania Posted: September 06, 2022 at 02:02 PM (#6094769)
Of the 36 times in the 1970s that a reliever had 100+ strikeouts in a season, the highest K/9 rate was Littell's 11.1 in with the Cardinals in 1978, and his 120 Ks in relief that year was the 11th highest total of the decade.

Despite having decent talent (Ted Simmons, Keith Hernandez, George Hendrick, Garry Templeton, John Denny, Pete Vuckovich) that '78 Cardinals team had the franchise's worst record in my lifetime, at 69-93---the only time the Cardinals have failed to reach 70 wins in a full season since 1924.
   3. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: September 06, 2022 at 03:11 PM (#6094786)
Despite having decent talent (Ted Simmons, Keith Hernandez, George Hendrick, Garry Templeton, John Denny, Pete Vuckovich) that '78 Cardinals team had the franchise's worst record in my lifetime, at 69-93---the only time the Cardinals have failed to reach 70 wins in a full season since 1924.
The White Rat blamed it on the white powder.
   4. sanny manguillen Posted: September 06, 2022 at 03:44 PM (#6094794)
The 2022 death team is filling some gaps, but still is not an imposing collection:

c - John Wockenfuss
1b - Jeremy Giambi
2b - Julio Cruz
3b - Pete Ward
ss - Dick Schofield
lf - Tommy Davis
cf - Gerald Williams
rf - David Green

sp - Joe Horlen
sp - Ralph Terry
sp - Dave Wickersham
sp - Ike Delock
sp - Odalis Perez
rp - Bob Locker
rp - Jim Corsi
rp - Mark Littell
rp- Jeff Innis

No managers to date - Joe Pignatano's serving interim.
   5. Itchy Row Posted: September 06, 2022 at 11:03 PM (#6094909)
The 2022 death team has a total of nine all star appearances. Last year’s team had three players who had more than nine ASG appearances each and 2020 had five with nine or more.
   6. jobu Posted: September 11, 2022 at 12:35 AM (#6095734)
Mark Littell gave us the Nutty Buddy video, and for that, and especially the Chris Sabo "testiclees" cameo, the world will be forever grateful.

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