baseball obituaries 2020

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dang, i just saw this. here's jaffe's piece:

But guess what? Nobody gives a toot!😂 (Karl Malone), Friday, 3 January 2020 15:51 (ten months ago) link

ed sprague sr, 74

pretty bad pitcher, apart from a solid 1974 campaign with milwaukee

was the orioles scout who signed mike mussina

mookieproof, Friday, 10 January 2020 17:04 (ten months ago) link

Jr. hit a very memorable WS home run.

clemenza, Friday, 10 January 2020 18:26 (ten months ago) link

Royals owner/Walmart boss David Glass

(yeah, meh)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 22 January 2020 15:20 (ten months ago) link

Just spoke with Mets star Jeff McNeil, who played for John Altobelli, one of the victims of the Calabasas helicopter crash, who managed Brewster in the Cape Cod League in 2012.

Said McNeil: "He's one of the main reasons I’m still playing professional baseball.”

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 26, 2020

mookieproof, Monday, 27 January 2020 01:11 (nine months ago) link

roger kahn, author of 'the boys of summer', 92

mookieproof, Friday, 7 February 2020 17:12 (nine months ago) link

RIP Rog, even tho ten was probably a little young for me to read the book

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 8 February 2020 04:45 (nine months ago) link

I really need to read "The Boys of Summer" again after 30 years.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 10 February 2020 09:12 (nine months ago) link

japanese legend katsuya nomura, 84

catcher who played 26 seasons, hitting .277/.357/.508 with 657 homers (second to oh). also managed for 24 years

mookieproof, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 03:18 (nine months ago) link

tony fernandez, 57

mookieproof, Sunday, 16 February 2020 07:35 (nine months ago) link

He was so good his first couple of seasons; looked like he was going to be right up there with Ripken and Yount before long. (Probably less impressive analytically, but that was barely around then.) He never stayed at that level, but he had a long, solid career, and his return to the Jays for the '93 WS team was great. So young.

clemenza, Sunday, 16 February 2020 13:04 (nine months ago) link

Forgot he was the fourth player in the Carter/Alomar for McGriff/Fernandez trade in 1990. Has there been a bigger-name trade since? I know Alomar hadn't flourished yet, but James had already identified him as a future superstar--I still remember his Alomar entry in The Baseball Book a year or two earlier, where he wrote "GET ROBERTO ALOMAR" whether you were a fantasy player or card collector or whatever. So you had Alomar, one of the 10 best hitters in the game in McGriff, the wildly-overrated-in-retrospect but big-name and big-RBI-guy Carter, and Fernandez, who was still thought of as a possible/probable Hall of Famer. Don't recall a bigger one since, or at least not between two teams--there've been some multi-team transactions along those lines.

clemenza, Sunday, 16 February 2020 16:52 (nine months ago) link

Yeah three guys who at their peaks were HOF type talents (one already in, one who will be, and a third in Fernandez who despite maybe never reaching his potential finished with an impressive career WAR due to those early seasons and late career renaissance) and a fourth who was not great but a solid bat in his best years.

omar little, Sunday, 16 February 2020 18:21 (nine months ago) link

So young, I didn't know he was sick. I always think of him as the 22 year old phenom and potential best SS in the game from the '85 division winners. Many people probably remember him as the guy whose error might have given away the '97 WS. Each of his stints with the Jays was memorable in some way. He's one of my favourite players ever and I'm really sorry to hear of his passing.

And yes, that 1990 trade was perhaps the last of its kind. It wasn't about big market vs small market teams, or trying to get value for players before they test free agency, or tanking/rebuilding to prepare for the future. It was a straight up challenge trade of four star players. There may never be another one like it again.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 16 February 2020 18:46 (nine months ago) link

And there was a perfect symmetry to the trade in that the Jays got the best and the least of the four, and the Padres got the middle two guys--things could have gone either way, and if Alomar hadn't developed (which in turn got the Jays over the hump, which brought in Winfield and Molitor, all of which made Carter look better than he was), it could have been a terrible trade for Toronto.

clemenza, Sunday, 16 February 2020 18:54 (nine months ago) link

Olerud being able to replace McGriff was a big part of that deal too. iirc he went straight from collage ball to the majors. that aspect was definitely a risk aswell.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Sunday, 16 February 2020 21:21 (nine months ago) link

orrin freeman, who had been a scout/farm director/special assistant to the gm for the marlins since their inception in 1991

mookieproof, Friday, 21 February 2020 21:56 (nine months ago) link

yankees' kelly rodman, one of very few female scouts in the game

not sure of the cause, but she was only ~40

mookieproof, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 19:29 (eight months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Jimmy Wynn was posted in the ILX thread, but he should get one here too.

I was a full-fledged Reds fan by '74, so I remember the phenomenal start the Dodgers had that year.

end of April: 17-6
end of May: 36-14
end of June: 52-24

Still, the Reds almost caught them, only finishing 4.0 out (they were within a game-and-a-half on Sept. 14). I thought Wynn had the same kind of start, but not quite: phenomenal May, surrounded by three good but not spectacular months (and a slow August/September). Really good year overall, though (it was a pitcher's year, I think), and he was 5th in MVP voting, finishing well ahead of winner Garvey and runner-up Brock in WAR (and basically tied with Bench, who finished 4th). Weird: spending the bulk of his career in the Astrodome and Chez Ravine, I just assumed he got killed by his home parks, but for his career he was .256/.376/.443 at home, .245/.355/.429 on the road. One of the great nicknames ever, and one of those guys who was a walking machine before anybody cared.

clemenza, Friday, 27 March 2020 14:04 (seven months ago) link

RIP Toy Cannon

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Friday, 27 March 2020 22:32 (seven months ago) link

We mourn the death of Ed Farmer who passed away Wednesday night.

Farmer worked as a radio broadcaster for the Chicago White Sox for nearly 30 years, played 11 seasons in the major leagues, including three with his hometown White Sox, and was a strong advocate for organ donation.

— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 2, 2020

mookieproof, Thursday, 2 April 2020 14:27 (seven months ago) link

That's a big one. As I just posted on Facebook, though, of all the famous HOF'ers who played most of their careers in the '60s, I have less of a sense of Kaline than any of them.

clemenza, Monday, 6 April 2020 20:58 (seven months ago) link

I remember seeing him on TV at the end of his career.

per Ben Lindbergh on EW, Kaline had the most career HR (399) w/out ever hitting 30 in a year.

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 14:19 (seven months ago) link

There is a lot of love coming out in the articles about Al Kaline, that guy seems to have been well liked by seemingly everyone. I knew him from baseball cards as a kid, but that he was supposed to be the real deal as a player good all the way around.

earlnash, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 16:40 (seven months ago) link

the most career HR (399) w/out ever hitting 30 in a year

I'd say that pinpoints his relative anonymity outside of Detroit better than anything.

clemenza, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 17:45 (seven months ago) link

(By which I mean next to Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Yaz, etc.)

clemenza, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 17:46 (seven months ago) link

Yaz is a pretty good comparison in a lot of ways -- Kaline didn't have nearly the same peak, but both spent most of their career operating not at that superstar peak but at a slightly lower tier of stardom in terms of production. Similar to Cal Ripken and Brett, I guess -- a couple other members of the 20+ seasons with one team club. Kaline also didn't have the same level of fame as any of those guys, probably just a matter of him not having a single season with truly eye-popping counting stats.

disappointing that he never played catcher even for just an inning, would have been cool for Al Kaline to be part of a battery.

omar little, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 18:30 (seven months ago) link


mookieproof, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 18:33 (seven months ago) link

No dad jokes on the obit thread?

I was going to say he was one of the few players of his caliber where it could be argued his best season was his first full one, but his age 20 season (didn’t turn 21 til December of that year) was actually his second full one.

omar little, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 00:53 (seven months ago) link

no, it was solid

tbf, he made 18 all-star games, so *someone* recognized he was good

mookieproof, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 01:45 (seven months ago) link

I quoted the battery line on Facebook!

clemenza, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 02:22 (seven months ago) link

Kaline was definitely highly thought of by other players. All-Star voting wasn't handed over to fans until 1970; I assume all those AS appearances were voted on by players?

clemenza, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 02:26 (seven months ago) link

Brooks Robinson said he was the best he played against

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 11:18 (seven months ago) link

gen believed he forsook some power for average and walks

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 11:18 (seven months ago) link

Al Kaline’s family put a “regular” obit in the Sunday @freep. By blending in, it’s an example of how one-of-a-kind he really was.

— Matt Friedman (@mattfrieds) April 12, 2020

Andy K, Sunday, 12 April 2020 16:06 (seven months ago) link

Glenn Beckert:

One of those random stats that will stick in my mind forever: he hit .340 one year, when Rod Carew was the only second baseman who did that. (Okay, I checked--.342.)

clemenza, Monday, 13 April 2020 00:49 (seven months ago) link

hank steinbrenner, 63, non-covid-related

mookieproof, Tuesday, 14 April 2020 14:59 (seven months ago) link

jim frey, 88

mookieproof, Tuesday, 14 April 2020 18:50 (seven months ago) link

Within a few months of Tony Fernandez, Dámaso García.

clemenza, Wednesday, 15 April 2020 18:30 (seven months ago) link

RIP I remember being super bummed as a 9 or 10-yr old when he was included in that Chambliss trade

And being down on Rick Cerone

Yanni Xenakis (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, 15 April 2020 21:40 (seven months ago) link

Steve Dalkowski, a wild left-hander who was said to have been dubbed "the fastest pitcher in baseball history" by Ted Williams, died this week in New Britain, Connecticut. He was 80.

Dalkowski, who once struck out 24 batters in a minor league game -- and walked 18 -- never made it to the big leagues.

Writer-director Ron Shelton, who spent five years in the Orioles farm system, heard about Dalkowski's exploits and based the character Nuke Laloosh in 'Bull Durham' on the pitcher.

mookieproof, Friday, 24 April 2020 18:31 (seven months ago) link

The A's are mourning the loss of former Athletic minor leaguer Miguel Marte, who passed away earlier this week due to complications from COVID-19. Marte played in the A's system from 2008-2012. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 1, 2020

mookieproof, Friday, 1 May 2020 19:41 (six months ago) link

journeyman Matt Keough, AL All-Star as a rookie in 1978 & was selected AL Comeback Player of the Year in 1980, both for the A's.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Sunday, 3 May 2020 23:39 (six months ago) link

Tonight my dad and hero Bob Watson has passed away after a long fight with kidney disease.. #Astros #Yankees #RedSox #Braves #Athletics #USABAseball #MLB #1stBlackGM

— K Dubb (@TheReal_KDubb) May 15, 2020

Andy K, Friday, 15 May 2020 12:45 (six months ago) link

Understand that I realize why, but Watson was the very definition of what James called "the RBI guy with mystique," something you can't have in the era of analytics.

clemenza, Friday, 15 May 2020 15:10 (six months ago) link

One of the two times I was in Cooperstown, he was on the street signing autographs--not near anything, just sitting there on his own. I remembered reading something where he wished fans would just shake his hand instead of asking for autographs, so, very proud of myself, that's what I did, walked up and asked to shake his hand--not thinking that there might be a difference between signing for money and getting interrupted in a restaurant and signing. He put out his hand, half looked away, and gave me the deadest handshake in the history of handshakes.

I view it as a funny, embarrassing story. I in no way stopped being a fan or anything. I cut major slack for any African-American player who came up through the '50s.

clemenza, Saturday, 3 October 2020 04:33 (one month ago) link

World moves on...sad to see them go.

I remember Jay Johnstone having some big pinch hits for the Cubs back in 84.

earlnash, Saturday, 3 October 2020 05:11 (one month ago) link

I dunno, clem, I don't think Ernie Banks or Buck O'Neil would've done that.

The Roger Angell profile of Gibson I posted two weeks ago:

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 3 October 2020 14:35 (one month ago) link

They wouldn't have, no, but I understand both reactions. The whole signing business--I'm not part of that world, but my collector friend is immersed in it, so I hear all his stories--is bizarre.

clemenza, Saturday, 3 October 2020 15:34 (one month ago) link

In my telling, Gibby watched a nine-pitcher shutout in October and decided he’d seen enough.

— Joe Sheehan (@joe_sheehan) October 3, 2020

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 3 October 2020 22:56 (one month ago) link

They changed the rules of baseball to stop Bob Gibson. That's the only epitaph you need.

— Richard M. Nixon (@dick_nixon) October 3, 2020

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 3 October 2020 23:35 (one month ago) link

Was reading Joe Posnanski's obituary for Gale Sayers from 10 days ago, and there's this:

The basics of his career are well known. He was a prodigy in Omaha, Neb. — where he was coached for a time by Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson’s brother Josh — and he became a star at the University of Kansas.

Besides the coincidental timing, I didn't know Gibson had a brother named Josh.

clemenza, Sunday, 4 October 2020 00:09 (one month ago) link

Bob Costas (who I've never minded)--you probably know the story of Gibson's final pitch and the aftermath, but if not, it's here.

clemenza, Sunday, 4 October 2020 01:02 (one month ago) link

Pete LaCock... I had forgotten it.

What's really impressive is the time he faced two or three hitters with a broken leg.

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 4 October 2020 03:07 (one month ago) link

xpost i had never heard of the pete LaCock story, thank you

that's a really godo one

idkwtf (Karl Malone), Sunday, 4 October 2020 04:21 (one month ago) link

you know what i mean


idkwtf (Karl Malone), Sunday, 4 October 2020 04:21 (one month ago) link

Pete LaCock is the son of Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares). Did he actually think it was a good idea to change his name from Marshall to LaCock? I mean, I know you don't want to live in your father's shadow, but still.

clemenza, Sunday, 4 October 2020 04:43 (one month ago) link

Ralph Pierre LaCock (born March 30, 1926, is better known by his stage name Peter Marshall. He is an American television and radio personality, singer, and actor. (Still alive at 94.)

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Monday, 5 October 2020 19:39 (one month ago) link

Duh...that actually occurred to me after I posted--maybe it was dad who changed his name.

clemenza, Monday, 5 October 2020 22:10 (one month ago) link


error prone wolf syndicate (Hadrian VIII), Friday, 9 October 2020 16:11 (one month ago) link

Not sure if I got this from Ball Four or not: if Cronin's name wasn't stamped on straight, he could make the baseball drop.

clemenza, Friday, 9 October 2020 16:59 (one month ago) link

Ford's autobiography was one of my favourites growing up, I read it countless times.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 9 October 2020 17:58 (one month ago) link

The last of Casey’s Whiskey Slicks

error prone wolf syndicate (Hadrian VIII), Friday, 9 October 2020 18:19 (one month ago) link

really?! what makes it so interesting? (i know nothing about the man outside of his stats)

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 9 October 2020 18:20 (one month ago) link

His off the field stories are interesting (plenty of stuff about partying all night in New York clubs), his takes on baseball personalities come across as real, three dimensional opinions, obviously he glosses over some of the seedier stuff that was surely going on but the book feels more honest than those by many of his contemporaries that I read at the time. He admits to cheating in the 60's when he was losing something off his fastball -- it was rare (maybe unprecedented?) to read something like that from a HOFer of his calibre.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 9 October 2020 18:48 (one month ago) link

Thanks, I might make that my next book!

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 9 October 2020 19:06 (one month ago) link

Whitey Ford: A HOF Cheater
by The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Friday, 9 October 2020 19:09 (one month ago) link

joe morgan

mookieproof, Monday, 12 October 2020 14:37 (one month ago) link

What a month this has been, jfc

, Monday, 12 October 2020 14:50 (one month ago) link


FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 12 October 2020 15:06 (one month ago) link


Reading his capsule bio, I had no idea he was 5'7".

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 12 October 2020 16:32 (one month ago) link

Glad I witnessed his historic '75/76 peak.

clemenza, Monday, 12 October 2020 17:09 (one month ago) link

That's what, five HOFers who passed away in the past month? Can 2020 get any worse?

His '75-'76 peak was really something, no 2Bman since then has really come close to his combination of power/speed/patience/defense.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 12 October 2020 17:29 (one month ago) link

I always thought it ironic how much Morgan hated sabermetrics etc, but as a player he excelled at a lot of the stats that advanced Stats people loved.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 12 October 2020 17:35 (one month ago) link


New Favorite Joe Morgan stat I discovered today.

His line in the 1976 NLCS: .000/.462/.000

0-for-7 with 6 BB, 2 SB, 2 R

(And the Reds swept the Phillies)

— Matt Meyers (@mtmeyers) October 12, 2020

mookieproof, Monday, 12 October 2020 17:48 (one month ago) link

As I've mentioned before, I was a huge Reds fan in the early '70s, before the Jays. Between Rose, Morgan, and Bench (not so much Perez), they had an arrogance about them that I'm not sure any baseball team has equaled since. Maybe those '90s Yankees teams, but that felt more like a revolving cast (with a core, true), and there was also the late '80s A's.

clemenza, Monday, 12 October 2020 17:49 (one month ago) link

Xpost to Thermo

Definitely. His reasoning was that it was his job to set the table so it made sense for him to take a walk, whereas other guys had to drive him in and thus shouldn't be taking walks. I think he understood the value of what he was doing but for him every player has a label that he couldn't escape. Like why can't an RBI guy also work the count? Why can't a middle infielder be a power hitter? He just never got it.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 12 October 2020 17:54 (one month ago) link

I'm probably one of three living people who's read his autobiography--I bought a remaindered copy for the free baseball card!,204,203,200_.jpg

clemenza, Monday, 12 October 2020 18:34 (one month ago) link

Best 2B I ever saw. RIP.

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 October 2020 13:04 (one month ago) link

class a greensboro grasshoppers bat dog miss lou lou gehrig, aged 9

mookieproof, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 16:03 (one month ago) link

goddammit. miss lou :(

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 13 October 2020 17:48 (one month ago) link

Forgot about this, from Ball Four--someone posted it on Facebook.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 October 2020 16:16 (one month ago) link

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 October 2020 16:17 (one month ago) link

I don't get that at Tripod blocking images now? Anyway.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 October 2020 16:17 (one month ago) link

Weird...They seem to be blocked on Chrome (along with every poll image I've ever posted on ILX: Neil Young, road films, etc.) but not Explorer.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 October 2020 16:22 (one month ago) link

MLB is deeply saddened by the passing of 34-year Major League Umpire Derryl Cousins at 74. The Californian worked nearly 4,500 games & three World Series ('88, '99, '05). He was behind the plate for the White Sox clincher in '05 & the '08 ASG at Yankee Stadium (pictured below).

— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) October 20, 2020

mookieproof, Tuesday, 20 October 2020 19:51 (one month ago) link

New York Mets fan Bill Weber, 59.

Dr. Morbius (Bill Weber) RIP

mookieproof, Thursday, 22 October 2020 00:40 (one month ago) link

Getting the chance to see a Mets game with him was nice. Seeing a Yankees game with him was a highlight of my time in NY because I thought he was going to get us killed.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 22 October 2020 01:25 (one month ago) link


I think I saw more Yankees games than Mets games with him!

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 22 October 2020 01:28 (one month ago) link

so of my closest brushes with death with bill were during the military salutes at mets baseball games at citifield, lol

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 22 October 2020 05:22 (one month ago) link

Ya. Him yelling into their air about brainwashing during god bless America got us some attention.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 22 October 2020 12:08 (one month ago) link

He invited me to a game when he was in T.O. for the SABR convention, it was the one and only time we met irl. I remember only two things about that game, 1) Bill James sat about three rows directly in front of us (Morbs pointed out a bunch of SABR-celebs from where we were sitting, 2) he was scoring the game and asked me to take over for a few minutes while he went to the bathroom. I hadn't scored a game in years and was so nervous about making a mistake and ruining his Blue Jays Experience. Needless to say, this place won't be the same without him.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 22 October 2020 17:51 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Apparently Tommy Lasorda is in p bad shape right now.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Sunday, 15 November 2020 23:01 (one week ago) link

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