Former major league catcher Darrell Porter dead at 50
.c The Associated Press
08/06/02 04:08 EDT
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Former major league All-Star catcher Darrell Porter, who was the MVP of the 1982 World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals, was found dead Monday in a park in suburban Kansas City. He was 50.
Sugar Creek police said a motorist reported seeing a man lying next to a car in La Benite Park late Monday afternoon, The Kansas City Star reported in Tuesday's editions. When police arrived, they found Porter's body.
The cause of death was not known, but police said there was no evidence of foul play. The Jackson County medical examiner will perform an autopsy.
Porter lived in Lee's Summit, another Kansas City suburb, according to driver's license records.
``We heard he went out to get a newspaper and went to the park to read it,'' Art Stewart, senior adviser to Kansas City Royals general manager Allard Baird, told The Kansas City Star. ``That's the only thing we knew. It's very, very upsetting.''
Porter hit .247 with 188 home runs and 826 RBIs in 17 major league seasons with Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Louis and Texas. His best season came in 1979, when he set career highs by hitting .291 with 20 homers and 112 RBIs for the Royals.
Porter started his major league career with the Brewers in 1971, and was traded to the Royals after the 1976 season. He was an All-Star twice in his four years with Kansas City.
During spring training in 1980, Porter checked into a drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation center. He returned to the team but his production dropped, with his average falling to .249, but was still a key factor in helping the Royals reach their first World Series - which they lost to Philadelphia in six games.
Porter chronicled his struggle with addiction and recovery from it in a 1984 book, ``Snap Me Perfect! The Darrell Porter Story.''
He filed for free agency after the season and signed with St. Louis to play for Whitey Herzog, his manager in Kansas City.
Porter struggled in his first two seasons at St. Louis but was the NLCS and World Series MVP in 1982 when the Cardinals beat the Brewers in seven games.
He played in his third World Series when the Cardinals lost to the Royals in 1985. Porter then spent two seasons with the Rangers before retiring in 1987.
Porter had recently shown interest in getting into baseball broadcasting. He was at the Royals' spring training camp this year and spent time in the broadcast booth during the team's last homestand to get some tips from the Royals' radio team of Denny Matthews and Ryan LeFebvre.
Survivors and funeral arrangements were not immediately known.