baseball obituaries 2020

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

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 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

Jr. hit a very memorable WS home run.

clemenza, Friday, 10 January 2020 18:26 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

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

mookieproof, Friday, 7 February 2020 17:12 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

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

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 10 February 2020 09:12 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

tony fernandez, 57

mookieproof, Sunday, 16 February 2020 07:35 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (three years ago) link

RIP Toy Cannon

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

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

clemenza, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 17:46 (three years 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 (three years ago) link


mookieproof, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 18:33 (three years 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 (three years 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 (three years ago) link

I quoted the battery line on Facebook!

clemenza, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 02:22 (three years 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 (three years ago) link

Brooks Robinson said he was the best he played against

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

gen believed he forsook some power for average and walks

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

hank steinbrenner, 63, non-covid-related

mookieproof, Tuesday, 14 April 2020 14:59 (three years ago) link

Within a few months of Tony Fernandez, Dámaso García.

clemenza, Wednesday, 15 April 2020 18:30 (three years 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 (three years 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 (three years 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 (three years 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 (three years 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 (three years 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 (three years ago) link

Just heard that. He was something else in the '70 Series.

clemenza, Tuesday, 26 September 2023 22:05 (five months ago) link

Apparently he was left-handed, and did everything left-handed, except bat and throw

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 26 September 2023 23:17 (five months ago) link

Jim Palmer said Brooks "never had a bad day in his life"

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 26 September 2023 23:17 (five months ago) link

Thanks for the videos, clemenza. Wild to see video of that time. Great play

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 26 September 2023 23:18 (five months ago) link

Jim Palmer reflects on the legacy of Brooks Robinson.

— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) September 26, 2023

mookieproof, Wednesday, 27 September 2023 00:55 (five months ago) link

Nice clip. I'm going by memory here--and will feel silly if I'm wrong (can't seem to find confirmation online)--but I think Ken Burns used "Theme from Shaft" for the segment on Robinson and the '70s Series. He cheated by a year, but it was great. Clemente and Santana's "Oye Como Va" for the '71 Series was a perfect match; Robinson and "Shaft" was a brilliant contrast.

clemenza, Wednesday, 27 September 2023 02:01 (five months ago) link

jim palmer is in awfully good shape for a guy who'll turn 78 in a couple weeks

mookieproof, Wednesday, 27 September 2023 02:33 (five months ago) link

Sorry, forgot this thread existed for a moment.

Our hearts are broken with the loss of Tim Wakefield.

Wake embodied true goodness; a devoted husband, father, and teammate, beloved broadcaster, and the ultimate community leader. He gave so much to the game and all of Red Sox Nation.

Our deepest love and thoughts are with…

— Red Sox (@RedSox) October 1, 2023

I’m going to get fined for being right, again (gyac), Sunday, 1 October 2023 18:35 (five months ago) link

Highly recommend Knuckleball, about his quest for his 200th win but really about this small fraternity of four or five people who account for almost everyone in the world who knows how to throw that pitch well. They golf together, keep in touch, and mentor Wakefield.

clemenza, Sunday, 1 October 2023 18:44 (five months ago) link

rip The Young Knuckleballer

went to see him do a rehab start for the carolina mudcats in 1993, but he ended up being scratched. andy van slyke was there rehabbing tho

classic pirates move to waive a guy who would win 186 games and put up 33 bWAR elsewhere. always rooted for him ;_;

mookieproof, Sunday, 1 October 2023 18:49 (five months ago) link

Tim Wakefield, Knuckleballer Extraordinaire

— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) October 1, 2023

mookieproof, Sunday, 1 October 2023 20:18 (five months ago) link

For those that didn’t notice, George Kirby threw a first-pitch knuckleball to Corey Seager for a swing and miss. Statcast had it as a splitter, but Kirby has been threatening to throw his knuckleball once in a game.

— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) October 1, 2023

I’m going to get fined for being right, again (gyac), Sunday, 1 October 2023 20:19 (five months ago) link

This Mike Timlin-Tim Wakefield video from the 2007 World Series resonates even more now. Seemed like the absolute best teammate you could have.

— Mike Cole (@MikeColeNESN) October 1, 2023

mookieproof, Sunday, 1 October 2023 20:20 (five months ago) link

mookieproof, Sunday, 1 October 2023 21:08 (five months ago) link

I'm sure many of you have read this before, but it's well worth a re-read in the aftermath of Wakefield's death. By my lights this is the best oral history about any baseball event ever: The Doug Mirabelli trade.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 2 October 2023 12:31 (five months ago) link

baseball writer jim caple, who i used to enjoy reading back in the espn page 2 days and again years later at the athletic

is he disgruntled adrian? (voodoo chili), Monday, 2 October 2023 19:36 (five months ago) link

thanks for posting that, tracer hand!

brimstead, Monday, 2 October 2023 20:18 (five months ago) link

Great read.

Loved watching (and imitating) him.

Andy K, Monday, 2 October 2023 21:11 (five months ago) link

four weeks pass...

Hondo, one of the legendary guys from my youth:

It's not so much how many HR he hit--under 400 for his career, reached 40+ three times--as when he hit them: 44 in '68 (with a slugging pct. of .552), when pitchers dominated like no year since the 1910s, and 48 in '69, which was wasn't as extreme but still pitching-dominated. And he was huge (standing next to Mantle here).

clemenza, Monday, 30 October 2023 21:04 (four months ago) link

"His coming-out party came in May 1968, when, during a stretch of 20 at-bats, Howard blasted 10 home runs. It still stands as the record for most home runs hit in one week."

clemenza, Monday, 30 October 2023 21:43 (four months ago) link

Little bit in Posnanski's post today about how much Ted Williams brought Frank Howard around as a hitter.

Then in 1969, the team hired their new manager, a guy named Ted Williams, and it’s utterly REMARKABLE how much that changed Frank Howard as a hitter. Up to that point, he was a wild free swinger with a .336 lifetime on-base percentage. Under Williams, he immediately cut down the strikeouts and doubled the walks; that year he hit .296/.402/.574 with those career-high 48 homers. The next year, he led the league with 132 walks. Ted Williams was a famously ineffective manager for many reasons, but Frank Howard would always say he made him a great hitter and he would lament not playing for Ted when he was young.

clemenza, Wednesday, 1 November 2023 02:37 (four months ago) link

Peter Seidler, grandson of Wally O'Malley, owner/controlling partner of SDP from 2012-2023.

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 14 November 2023 19:27 (three months ago) link


reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 14 November 2023 20:30 (three months ago) link

The Padres are super fucked, jeez

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 14 November 2023 20:31 (three months ago) link


Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Tuesday, 14 November 2023 20:31 (three months ago) link

Willie Hernandez, 1984 CY and MVP winner.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 23 November 2023 07:03 (three months ago) link

Wow. One of the great then vs. now seasons when tracing historical attitudes towards closers and how they're used. His '84 vs. Felix Bautista's 2023:

WH - 140.1 IP, 1.92 ERA, 3.1 WAR, Cy Young + MVP
FB - 61 IP, 1.48 ERA, 3.0 WAR, 11th-place for the Cy (one 5th-place vote), 0 MVP votes

(Weirdly enough, similar W-L records: Hernandez 9-3, Bautista 8-2.)

clemenza, Thursday, 23 November 2023 14:09 (three months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Like one of those Academy Award tributes: 2023 in memoriam.

clemenza, Friday, 15 December 2023 18:03 (two months ago) link

Meant to say that there's a Seattle Pilot in there: Wayne Comer.

clemenza, Friday, 15 December 2023 20:38 (two months ago) link

four weeks pass...

How did we miss this?

I didn't know about the Alzheimer's. Only won one GG, surprisingly--his defensive reputation was up there with almost anyone's through the '70s. (Usually lost out to Concepcion.) Got an MVP vote in '73 for playing 106 games and hitting .258--his career high till he hit .282/.272 his final two seasons. Immortal, of course, for this (Monday afternoon game, so I was probably sitting in Mr. Gudgeon's grade 8 class and missed it).

Rose in 2008: "You had Seaver, who was the greatest pitcher I ever saw, and you had great hitters like Cleon Jones and Tommie Agee, and later Rusty and Milner. But the heart and soul of that team — ask anyone who played against them — was Bud Harrelson."

clemenza, Friday, 12 January 2024 17:29 (one month ago) link

(Note to Thermo: if there was ever a player who was going to have "scrappy" in his obit headline, Harrelson's the guy.)

clemenza, Friday, 12 January 2024 19:25 (one month ago) link

A member of the @Mets extended family has passed away. (Okay, REALLY extended family). Joyce Randolph, who played Trixie Norton on “The Honeymooners” was 99 years old. Her grandnephew Tim Redding pitched for the Mets 15 years ago. TV, if not necessarily Mets royalty. RIP.

— Howie Rose (@HowieRose) January 14, 2024

mookieproof, Monday, 15 January 2024 04:09 (one month ago) link

Steve Staggs, 72. Not sure if Facebook links to a public group work here:

I don't remember him at all, even though he was the Jays' leadoff hitter for half their first season. Looks a lot like Wade Boggs here:

clemenza, Wednesday, 24 January 2024 17:58 (one month ago) link

Jimy Williams (if he'd been a character in Goodfellas, he would have been Jimy One-M).

1) Had the difficult task of taking over from Bobby Cox in 1986, after the Jays' first divisional title.

2) Manger when they collapsed in '87. After play on Sept. 26, the Jays were 96-59, the best record in baseball by 4-1/2 games. They proceeded to lose their final seven games, the last three by one run to the Tigers, the team that overtook them for the A.L. East title.

3) In the middle of probably the most memorable player-manager confrontation in team history:

The Jays started the '89 season 12-24, Williams was fired and replaced by Cito Gaston, and it went from there.

clemenza, Tuesday, 30 January 2024 00:22 (one month ago) link

"Manger"--I do remember invoking Jesus's name a number of times those final seven games.

clemenza, Tuesday, 30 January 2024 01:04 (one month ago) link

I don’t know anything about him but you might enjoy this Red Sox Stats tweet about the time he benched Pedro

On August 14, 1999, Pedro was 16-3 with 199 strikeouts, a 2.46 ERA and 1.62 FIP.

He showed up late for a start, and Jimy sat his ass.

— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) January 29, 2024

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Tuesday, 30 January 2024 01:05 (one month ago) link

I'd completely forgotten he went on to manage other teams...Houston, too. Weird: he had a winning record in all three places (.535 for his career), and in every case, the team went on to their greatest success soon after he left (Jays and Red Sox win WS within three years, Houston goes to their first WS the very next year).

Maybe his biggest claim to fame, upon reconsideration, is managing Pedro in 1999 and 2000.

clemenza, Tuesday, 30 January 2024 01:11 (one month ago) link

His biggest claim to fame is probably this:

Williams returned to the Braves as Cox's third base coach from 1991-96, memorably giving Sid Bream the green light for the pennant-winning run on Francisco Cabrera's single

I had no idea he was coaching for the Braves, although it makes sense that he'd follow his former boss to Atlanta.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 30 January 2024 09:23 (one month ago) link

Didn't know that either...eventful career.

clemenza, Tuesday, 30 January 2024 11:45 (one month ago) link

Who just died? I briefly saw one of those rotating online headlines about a pitcher who played for 10 seasons dying...can't find anything.

clemenza, Saturday, 10 February 2024 22:16 (three weeks ago) link

im not seeing anything

Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Saturday, 10 February 2024 23:07 (three weeks ago) link

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 10 February 2024 23:17 (three weeks ago) link

That'd be him, thanks. Never heard of him. Definite claim to fame: part of the massive Denny McLain trade in 1970.

clemenza, Saturday, 10 February 2024 23:20 (three weeks ago) link

Geez, missed this:

Easily the best pitcher on my first favourite team. From Posnanski's post today: best winning percentage for pitchers who won 100 games before turning 27 (44 of them in the 20th century).

1. Roger Clemens, 116-51, .695
2. Don Gullett, 109-60, .686
3. Dwight Gooden, 142-66, .683
4. Jim Palmer, 122-57, .682
5. Pedro Martinez, 107-50, .682

Retired after that--never pitched in another game.

clemenza, Monday, 19 February 2024 22:18 (two weeks ago) link

ed ott, 72

u l washington, 71

mookieproof, Monday, 4 March 2024 14:38 (yesterday) link

also tim wakefield’s widow stacy, 57

mookieproof, Monday, 4 March 2024 14:41 (yesterday) link

I remember Ed Ott, who then led me back to Duffy Dyer; Manny's backups.

clemenza, Monday, 4 March 2024 15:08 (yesterday) link

having grown up with ed ott (and steve nicosia!) i have to stop and think whenever the the crossword is asking for MEL

mookieproof, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 03:17 (four hours ago) link

Ed Ott did Felix Millan dirty. RIP but you will pay for it in the afterlife.

buzza, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 07:10 (ten minutes ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.