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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dell crandall, obituaries

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   1. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:49 PM (#6017335)
In his last season (1966) the Indians got him to be Sudden Sam's personal catcher--the wise old veteran to calm down the wild youngster (cf Bull Durham).I swear to God they would have a conference after every pitch

He had some awfully good years for the Braves in the 50's.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:14 PM (#6017357)
Very good catcher for a long time, although his 11-time All-Star status is inflated a bit by the 3 years in which he played in two All-Star games, back when that was done to boost the players pension fund.
   3. sanny manguillen Posted: May 06, 2021 at 05:42 PM (#6017417)
I swear to God they would have a conference after every pitch

RIP. Just looking on BB-Ref at games where McDowell got a decision, it looks like early in the 1966 season his games were running around 2:50. After July 1, much quicker games start sprinkling in.

BB-Ref has only logged three former players deaths since April 1. Crandall will be the fourth. He's the first star catcher to pass since prominent players starting dying in startling numbers early last year.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:42 PM (#6017427)
Crandall's career timing makes for interesting scenarios beyond having been a Boston Brave.

he got to debut with WW II-era Eddie Stanky as another infield regular, who played with backup catcher Al Todd, who broke in with pitcher Rube Bressler, who debuted in 1914 and presumably learned a lot that year from original AL pitcher Eddie Plank.

and that 1966 finale enabled Crandall to catch future HOMer Luis Tiant, who pitched in the 1981 mess of a season - 80 years after Plank helped launch the AL. Tiant closed his career with the 1982 Angels (perhaps the oldest team in baseball history, alas).
   5. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 06, 2021 at 08:23 PM (#6017447)
Was Crandall the last living person to have played in the majors in the 1940s? (I'm too lazy to look it up, obviously.)

   6. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 06, 2021 at 10:21 PM (#6017466)
The two of the top 10 oldest who I heard of, started in the 40s. Eddie Robinson started in 42! Bobby Schantz also stared in the 40s.
   7. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 06, 2021 at 10:28 PM (#6017468)
I was in Schantz’s house once. His son was a friend of my friend. Bobby grunted at us from his easy chair.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 06, 2021 at 11:57 PM (#6017491)
I was in Schantz’s house once. His son was a friend of my friend. Bobby grunted at us from his easy chair.
What did he say? “Keep off my lawn!” or “Learn to spell!”?

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