baseball obituaries 2018

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Former Padres and Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 30 January 2018 17:21 (one year ago) Permalink

As mid-'70s iconic as Elton John or Patty Hearst or anybody.

clemenza, Wednesday, 31 January 2018 22:48 (one year ago) Permalink

Very nice piece by the guy who wrote Big Hair and Plastic Grass.

Oscar's immortal quote, "They don't think it be like it is, but it do," was in reference to the insanity and dysfunction of the Yankees clubhouse under George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin.

clemenza, Thursday, 1 February 2018 00:26 (one year ago) Permalink

“It be like it is” > “It is what it is”

Andy K, Thursday, 1 February 2018 03:59 (one year ago) Permalink

^ video from that link. looking at his initial stance (mentioned in the link) it makes me thing of the truism (?) that most major leaguers end up in the same place before they swing

YouTube_-_funy_cats.flv (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Thursday, 1 February 2018 05:01 (one year ago) Permalink

My favorite story about the ufortunately late Oscar Gamble was when he popped up and his manager reminded him every player was supposed to take the first pitch unless there were a runner in scoring positon. "When I'm in the batter's box," replied Oscar, "I'm in scoring position."

— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) February 1, 2018

Andy K, Thursday, 1 February 2018 12:21 (one year ago) Permalink

Wally Moon, Cards/Dodgers slugger who was NL ROY in 1954

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 12 February 2018 15:55 (one year ago) Permalink

tito francona, 84

mookieproof, Wednesday, 14 February 2018 16:07 (one year ago) Permalink

Jack Hamilton, pitcher 1962-69, who fatefully hit Tony Conigliaro.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 26 February 2018 21:43 (one year ago) Permalink

Sammy Stewart, pitcher 1978-87, who spiraled into addiction and prison

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 17:12 (one year ago) Permalink

Charles was always eager to talk about his brushes with Jackie Robinson, starting with the sighting in Daytona Beach in 1946.

Charles also recounted a story of how he later spotted Robinson, who was by then on the Brooklyn Dodgers’ roster, on a train.

The Dodgers were in Florida playing an exhibition, and Charles and several friends “peered through openings in the fence,” he recalled in “Carrying Jackie’s Torch: The Players Who Integrated Baseball — and America,” by Steve Jacobson (2007).

After the game, the Dodgers prepared to leave from the railroad station.

“So now we’re walking down the platform, looking in the windows trying to see where Jackie was seated,” Charles said. “Finally we come to the right coach, and there is Jackie, playing cards. We waved and, you know, he waved back to us.”

“Then the train starts pulling out,” he went on, “and we start slowly walking with it, just waving to Jackie. The train picked up speed. We kept running and waving till the train got out of sight.”

“Things like that, you know, I can recall so vividly,” he said, “because they were very special moments in my life and in the life of the country. It was like the Messiah had come.”

mookieproof, Friday, 16 March 2018 21:59 (one year ago) Permalink

le grand orange, 73

mookieproof, Thursday, 29 March 2018 14:27 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh damn, that's gonna put a damper on things in Queens.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 29 March 2018 14:45 (one year ago) Permalink

I remember Staub mostly in his later days mostly pinch hitting for the Mets. I seem to remember him being a tough out as with that choked up batting stance he seemed to be able to foul off tough pitches at will.

earlnash, Friday, 30 March 2018 19:04 (one year ago) Permalink

Carl Scheib, who debuted pitching for the Philadelphia A's at 16 in 1943

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 7 April 2018 05:40 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Dave Garcia, baseball lifer

When David was 11, his father died, and his mother went to work in a shirt factory to support her five children. He helped out by selling newspapers in downtown East St. Louis.

Garcia signed a contract with the St. Louis Browns in 1938. Sent to its minor-league team in Springfield, Ill., he was hit in the head by a pitch and did not return to play for more than a year. He subsequently tore up a knee while playing in Lake Charles, La., and broke a leg in Eau Claire, Wis. ...

Finally healthy, he had a strong season in 1947 with the Sioux City Soos, then took on the dual roles of player and manager, first with the Knoxville Smokies in Tennessee 1948 and then the Oshkosh Giants from 1949 to ’53.

...A hard-hitting second baseman in the 1940s and ’50s, Garcia managed many of the teams he played for. But Major League Baseball was not calling him. So, with his family growing, he retired as a player-manager and moved into scouting — then returned to managing in the minor leagues, adding Fresno, Calif., and Salt Lake City to his late-1960s travels.

But as he entered his 50th year, the majors finally beckoned. The San Diego Padres hired him as a coach in 1970, a stint that he followed with two managing jobs: first with the California Angels and then with the Cleveland Indians.

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Monday, 28 May 2018 12:42 (ten months ago) Permalink

'71 WS is the first i remember watching, RIP

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 3 June 2018 01:40 (ten months ago) Permalink

Kison's big game wasn't quite my first WS game, but close--remember that more than I remember '70. Kind of amazed he was still there in '79.

clemenza, Sunday, 3 June 2018 03:18 (ten months ago) Permalink

Red Schoendienst, at 95

WilliamC, Thursday, 7 June 2018 01:26 (ten months ago) Permalink

rip Red

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 7 June 2018 01:54 (ten months ago) Permalink

best strike call

mookieproof, Tuesday, 19 June 2018 10:16 (ten months ago) Permalink

didn't hit the big leagues til he was about 43

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 19 June 2018 11:21 (ten months ago) Permalink

The Hall of Fame remembers former @Pirates first baseman and longtime trainer Tony Bartirome, who passed away on Friday.

— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) June 26, 2018

mookieproof, Tuesday, 26 June 2018 18:05 (nine months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Johnny Lewis, who played with the Cardinals and Mets from 1964-67

Karl Malone, Monday, 30 July 2018 01:01 (eight months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

John Kennedy, utility infielder for the Senators, Red Sox, and '69 Seattle Pilots

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 14 August 2018 16:10 (eight months ago) Permalink

Looks like there are a lot of references to Kennedy in Ball Four though I don't have a copy here.

timellison, Tuesday, 14 August 2018 18:31 (eight months ago) Permalink

i was gonna ask... i remember the tail end of his career, but not if Bouton wrote about him.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 14 August 2018 18:34 (eight months ago) Permalink

Aaron Cox (Mike Trout's brother-in-law), retired minor league pitcher passed away at age 24.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 15 August 2018 18:24 (eight months ago) Permalink

I often want to locate a quote in Ball Four and bemoan the lack of an index.

clemenza, Wednesday, 15 August 2018 18:31 (eight months ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

loooong-time scout don welke, 75. 50 years in baseball, most recently with the padres

Don Welke, the veteran baseball man, was the scout who convinced Blue Jays to draft a Flint, Mich. high school left-hander in 1985. The final words of a very thorough report: "Has no right hand." (Jim Abbott went to Michigan instead.)

— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) September 20, 2018

mookieproof, Thursday, 20 September 2018 18:45 (seven months ago) Permalink

Peter Bjarkman, historian of Cuban baseball, pioneer and pal, died suddenly yesterday, of a heart attack in Havana. I will miss him.

— John Thorn (@thorn_john) October 2, 2018

mookieproof, Tuesday, 2 October 2018 16:10 (six months ago) Permalink

Saw him at SABR in NYC last year. This year's Cuba Ball tour just concluded, he must've been visiting with it.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 October 2018 16:18 (six months ago) Permalink

new york times scribe dave anderson, who was the last writer to leave the ebbets field press box

mookieproof, Thursday, 4 October 2018 20:37 (six months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

longtime giants broadcaster hank greenwald, 83

mookieproof, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 18:42 (five months ago) Permalink

former pitcher/longtime pitching coach bill fischer, 88

in 1962 he threw a record 84 1/3 consecutive innings (for the kansas city athletics) without issuing a walk

The Royals are saddened to announce the passing of Senior Pitching Advisor Bill Fischer. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Fish touched so many lives during his career, not only with the Royals, but through his eight decades in pro baseball.

— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) October 31, 2018

mookieproof, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 16:19 (five months ago) Permalink

It is with great sadness that we announce that San Francisco Giants Legend and Hall of Famer Willie McCovey passed away peacefully this afternoon at the age of 80 after losing his battle with ongoing health issues. #Forever44 | #SFGiants

— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) October 31, 2018

Willie McCovey, 80

Karl Malone, Thursday, 1 November 2018 00:13 (five months ago) Permalink

Between the '30s and the PED era, his '69 season was a benchmark offensively.

clemenza, Thursday, 1 November 2018 00:35 (five months ago) Permalink

Checked that, and his '69 is indeed the highest OPS+ year (209) in that gap by someone not named Williams or Mantle.

clemenza, Thursday, 1 November 2018 11:56 (five months ago) Permalink

He showed up in 1972 healthy and raring to go, and homered on Opening Day off Houston’s Don Wilson. In the season’s fourth game, San Diego’s John Jeter ran into McCovey at first base, fracturing Willie’s right forearm. ("I feel like I killed Santa Claus," Jeter said.)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 1 November 2018 17:45 (five months ago) Permalink

Posnanski just posted a McCovey entry in his countdown (#89, obviously bumped up or down because of his death), and he reminded me of one of my favourite moments in Ball Four:

"Hey Willie," Jim Bouton said to McCovey as he and what he called "a group of terrorized pitchers" watched McCovey smash terrifying home run after terrifying home run in batting practice. "Can you do that every time?"

McCovey, Bouton said, did not even smile.

"Just about," he said.

clemenza, Friday, 2 November 2018 00:18 (five months ago) Permalink

Apparently we failed to note Marty Pattin, AL pitcher 1968-80, mostly for the Royals (and a Seattle Pilot), who died last month.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 12 November 2018 19:34 (five months ago) Permalink

Another Ball Four guy...Line I think I remember: "Marty, how do you hold your gopher balls?" (which Bouton felt bad about after he said it).

clemenza, Monday, 12 November 2018 19:54 (five months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

RIP Fred Caligiuri — the oldest living former @MLB player — who died Friday at the age of 100. Pitching for the Philadelphia @Athletics, he faced Ted Williams on the final day of the 1941 season when he hit .406. Read Caligiuri's #SABR bio:

— SABR (@sabr) December 3, 2018

mookieproof, Monday, 3 December 2018 21:49 (four months ago) Permalink

Former Major League Baseball players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car accident on Thursday night, a spokesperson for their Venezuelan team, Cardenales de Lara, confirmed.

Valbuena was 33. Castillo was 37.

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Friday, 7 December 2018 08:13 (four months ago) Permalink

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Former major league players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car crash caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday.

The 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object on the road, Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said on his Twitter account.

Officials said some bandits place or throw objects on highways to force vehicles to stop or crash so they can rob the occupants. Heredia said four people have been detained after being found with property of the athletes.

Valbuena and Castillo were teammates on the Cardenales de Lara team in the Venezuelan winter league and were returning from a game in the capital when the crash occurred en route to the city of Barquisimeto.

Third baseman Carlos Rivero was in the car and survived, according to the website BeisbolPlay.

omar little, Saturday, 8 December 2018 03:00 (four months ago) Permalink

Joan Steinbrenner, widow of Boss Bullshit

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 17 December 2018 12:50 (four months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

The Hall of Fame remembers former @Orioles, @Twins, @Angels, @RedSox and @Tigers outfielder Lenny Green, who passed away on Sunday.

— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) January 8, 2019

mookieproof, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 15:05 (three months ago) Permalink

mel stottlemyre, 77

mookieproof, Monday, 14 January 2019 17:38 (three months ago) Permalink

Very interesting career. Helped along by his era a career ERA under 3.00, retired at 32, never had a really bad year (three mediocre ones, never terrible), won 20 three times and lost 20 once, hit 40 WAR in a short career. And his son gets credit for the worst slide in the entire history of baseball.

clemenza, Monday, 14 January 2019 19:38 (three months ago) Permalink

also unusual in that he was the Yankee ace when they won nothing (after his rookie year), then was pitching coach for the WS-winning Mets

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 14 January 2019 19:42 (three months ago) Permalink

Like a lot of guys in the early '60s, AL especially, he would have had a real good shot at a Cy Young in '65 if not for Koufax: 20-9, 6.9 WAR, 291 innings for the first lousy Yankees team (6th place) in ages.

clemenza, Monday, 14 January 2019 19:47 (three months ago) Permalink

(Actually, no--McDowell would have been a cinch, even with fewer wins.)

clemenza, Monday, 14 January 2019 19:52 (three months ago) Permalink

Tom Hausman, pitcher in 160 MLB games 1975-82, and the first FA signed by the Mets

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 21 January 2019 16:24 (three months ago) Permalink

R.I.P. Jim McKean, legendary umpire and Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer By: Kevin Glew (@coopincanada )

— The Canadian Baseball Network (@CDNBaseballNet) January 24, 2019

mookieproof, Thursday, 24 January 2019 15:35 (two months ago) Permalink

damn, RIP

Karl Malone, Thursday, 24 January 2019 16:02 (two months ago) Permalink

frank robinson

mookieproof, Thursday, 7 February 2019 19:38 (two months ago) Permalink

mookieproof, Thursday, 7 February 2019 19:43 (two months ago) Permalink


omar little, Thursday, 7 February 2019 19:49 (two months ago) Permalink

I once told Frank Robinson I was at Fenway in 1970 when he made great extra-inning catch in RF. “Yeah, and the next day I hit back-to-back grand slams off a couple of Joes,” he said. Thought it was a baseball term. Nope: He hit ‘em off Joe Coleman, Joe Grzenda on June 26, 1970.

— Steve Buckley (@BuckinBoston) February 7, 2019

mookieproof, Thursday, 7 February 2019 21:30 (two months ago) Permalink

ha! that's a good story. RIP Frank Robinson. one of my earliest baseball memories was a book about the players who had hit the most home runs, so i was aware of him from an early age and always think of the number 475 whenever he was mentioned. it wasn't til later that i appreciated what a well rounded player he was, and his groundbreaking status as the first black manager in MLB.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 7 February 2019 21:55 (two months ago) Permalink

er....586. 475 was musial and stargell. shit, i'm starting to lose my baseball stat knowledge.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 7 February 2019 21:57 (two months ago) Permalink

saw Frank play in his single year with the Dodgers, 1972

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 7 February 2019 22:09 (two months ago) Permalink

i still remember from my first MLB book the top ten HR hitters: Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Robinson, Killebrew, Jackson, Schmidt, Mantle, Foxx, McCovey.

omar little, Thursday, 7 February 2019 22:15 (two months ago) Permalink

I have this loose definition of "sporting god" when I try to think of which ones are still alive. Basically the inner-inner circle HOF'ers whose peak years were in the '50s and '60s, before television and big-money skyrocketed (e.g.: Unitas, Bill Russell, Howe). Robinson fits the definition. Mays, Aaron, Koufax, Jim Brown, Palmer, Nicklaus...the list continues to dwindle; I'm guessing there are under 10 still around.

clemenza, Thursday, 7 February 2019 23:51 (two months ago) Permalink

I don't think Eckerskey gets the point being made here.

clemenza, Friday, 8 February 2019 18:17 (two months ago) Permalink

Bob Gibson: "As a rule, I'm reluctant to express admiration for hitters, but I make an exception for Frank Robinson."

clemenza, Friday, 8 February 2019 18:20 (two months ago) Permalink

xpost as the article mentioned, it wasn't misunderstanding the point that was the problem, it was the timing:

The immediate aftermath of Robinson's passing might not have been the best time for this discussion, though.

Karl Malone, Friday, 8 February 2019 18:37 (two months ago) Permalink

I remember my dad was at this Giants-Mets game at Shea Stadium, and loved Frank's hard-ass attitude:

"A passage in The Baseball Codes describes Giants reliever Jim Barr, upset at being pulled from a game by manager Frank Robinson in 1983:

Frustrated, Barr didn’t wait for his manager to reach the mound before flipping him the ball—a clear act of insolence in the hard-edged presence of Robinson, who made it clear to his pitchers that they were to hand him the ball as they departed.

Barr planned on storming to the dugout, but was interrupted when Robinson caught the baseball, grabbed the pitcher by the arm as he tried to pass, spun him around, and dragged him back up the hill to await (reliever Greg) Minton’s arrival. Robinson had been the league’s most fiery player, and his managerial furnace burned nearly as hot.

As the duo waited for Minton to arrive, Robinson told Barr exactly what he thought of his stunt, poking a finger into the right-hander’s chest to emphasize his point. . . . On the mound at Shea, it was hard to miss the battle brewing, and the New York fans looked on in delight. All four members of the Giants infield raced in and surrounded the pair in an attempt to calm things down.

Barr didn’t help matters when he decided that if he wasn’t allowed to leave until Robinson gave him permission, he wouldn’t leave at all. This meant that when Minton arrived at the mound he found two people, Robinson and Barr, standing between himself and the catcher, which made it somewhat difficult to warm up. “It seemed like five minutes,” said Barr, “even though it was probably only ninety seconds.” Robinson finally led Barr back to the dugout, at which point both pitcher and manager had to be restrained from going after each other."

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 8 February 2019 18:47 (two months ago) Permalink

(xpost) I now see that...Robinson's '66 MVP/Triple Crown is a large part of his legend. If you've got a statistical tool that casts doubt on the MVP-worthiness of that season (and I don't mean for this to be an anti-WAR thing, not at all), I don't think there's anything wrong with saying no, he was indeed the league's MVP that year, and saying so on the day of Robinson's death. I often flinch at some of the nasty things that get posted about people the day they die, but this seems to me to be the opposite of that.

clemenza, Friday, 8 February 2019 19:00 (two months ago) Permalink

says something about how much baseball has changed: I'd never heard of Jim Barr, but he threw 64 CG and 20 shutouts in his career. He started 252. while Justin Verlander (to cite one example) has thrown 24 CG and 8 shutouts and started 419. Fellow deserved future HOFer Max Scherzer's career totals of 10 and 5 in those categories fall just shy of Barr's 11 and 5 in 1974.

omar little, Friday, 8 February 2019 20:41 (two months ago) Permalink

One last thing I came across: in his first AB in his first game as player-manager, Robinson homered.

clemenza, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:30 (two months ago) Permalink

don newcombe, 92

mookieproof, Tuesday, 19 February 2019 18:57 (two months ago) Permalink

great pitcher for a minute. his military service maybe caused him to miss out on the HOF? Might be a stretch, but he wound up missing two years and there was a third where he scuffled upon his return back. Bookended by 19 & 20 win seasons before he left, and 20 and 27 win seasons once he regained his form. Could have finished with over 200 wins and made a better case for enshrinement.

omar little, Tuesday, 19 February 2019 19:04 (two months ago) Permalink

Erskine is the last Brooklyn star left.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 19 February 2019 19:14 (two months ago) Permalink

i don't think newcombe has much of a HoF case stats-wise, but winning a RoY/Cy/MVP and having songs written about him as the first (?) black pitching star goes a long way imo

mookieproof, Tuesday, 19 February 2019 19:37 (two months ago) Permalink

well, Satchel Paige became an MLB star a hair earlier, no?

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 19 February 2019 19:38 (two months ago) Permalink

i don't really know how paige was thought of at the time, but i think his MLB career was mostly a footnote -- he was already in his 40s, didn't start many games, didn't play for marquee teams

mookieproof, Tuesday, 19 February 2019 19:50 (two months ago) Permalink

well yeah the thing is Paige was already a legend when he put the Cleveland uni on.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 19 February 2019 20:13 (two months ago) Permalink

There are a lot of things that made Don Newcombe awesome, but my favorite baseball thing is probably him going to Japan, at 36, as an outfielder, and slugging .473 for Chunichi.

— Kevin Goldstein (@Kevin_Goldstein) February 19, 2019

mookieproof, Tuesday, 19 February 2019 20:37 (two months ago) Permalink

damn, RIP don newcombe. :(

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 19 February 2019 20:49 (two months ago) Permalink

Paige appeared w/ CLE in '48, but was not used consistently as a starter as Newk would be the next year, as mook said. Started 7 games, threw 2 shutouts, relieved 14 times, plus got 2 outs in the World Series.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 20 February 2019 04:59 (two months ago) Permalink

growing up in the NYC area, read a lot about Newcombe in the papers and The Boys of Summer in the early '70s, around Jackie's death. As one did, since most of the writers had covered the departed teams.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 20 February 2019 05:05 (two months ago) Permalink

boston globe writer nick cafardo, 62, died today at the red sox's spring training park in fort myers

mookieproof, Thursday, 21 February 2019 21:06 (two months ago) Permalink

For the past 34 years, one guy who was always terrific and on top of it, always worth a giggle, as well as a meaningful phone call, and who always was the best of professionals and colleagues, was Nick Cafardo. And I am sick to my stomach and going for a long, long walk.

— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) February 21, 2019

Andy K, Thursday, 21 February 2019 21:15 (two months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

It is with a heavy heart to report that former #PeoriaRedwings catcher, Terry Donahue passed away last night at the age of 93. She was one of the Canadians who came south to play in the #AAGPBL from 1946 - '49. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

— AAGPBL Official (@AAGPBL) March 15, 2019

mookieproof, Friday, 15 March 2019 18:50 (one month ago) Permalink

RIP Chuck Harmon, 94, African American baseball pioneer who broke the color barrier for the Cincinnati @Reds in 1954. He was also a basketball star at @ToledoMBB who played and coached hoops professionally. Read his #SABR bio:

— SABR (@sabr) March 20, 2019

mookieproof, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 18:39 (one month ago) Permalink

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