Recent Passings

Joseph A. Schaffernoth

Paul Ippolito Berkeley Memorial Home, June 20, 2016

Joseph A. Schaffernoth of Berkeley Heights, N.J. passed away peacefully after a hard fought battle with cancer, surrounded by his family on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the age of 78.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Mass on Friday, June 24th at 10:45 AM at St. Teresa of Avila Church, Morris Ave, Summit. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Paul Ippolito Berkeley Memorial.

Joseph was born in Trenton, N.J. to Charles and Anna Schaffernoth and was a longtime resident of Berkeley Heights, N.J. After high school Joseph was drafted to play Major League Baseball where he played for the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians as a Pitcher for several years until suffering a shoulder injury. After his professional baseball career Joseph worked as a manager for the Palnut division of TRW until his retirement. Joseph's greatest joy was spending time with his family and attending all his grandchildren's activities. He also enjoyed golfing with his buddies.

Joseph is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years Patricia Schaffernoth (nee Mazzucco), his loving children: LuAnn Lyons and her husband Paul and Lauren DeFuria and her husband Brian, brothers: Charles and Dale Schaffernoth and cherished grandchildren: Bradford, Zachary, Derek, Gavin, Curtis, Morgan and Justin.

In lieu of flowers kindly consider a donation to the Berkeley Heights Vol. Rescue Squad in Joseph’s memory.

Former major-leaguer Chico Fernandez dies at 84

Max Bultman
The Sun Sentinel
June 13, 2016 6:24 PM EDT

Humberto "Chico" Fernandez, a former major league shortstop who was inducted into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame, died Saturday in Sunrise after complications from a past stroke. He was 84.

Fernandez, who lived in Florida since 1998 and at his current home in Sunrise since 1999, was inducted in 1997.

In his eight seasons in the major leagues (1956-63), Fernandez played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers and New York Mets. He was a career .240 hitter with 40 home runs, but he had a 20-homer season with Detroit in 1962. The Detroit Free Press called him the first regular starting Latino player for the Tigers.

Perhaps his most famous major league moment came in 1961, when he stole home in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium.

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Fernandez and his wife, Lynne, moved to Florida to be near his baseball friends, and he attended old-timers baseball events in retirement. One summer — Lynne could not recall which — he coached an underprivileged baseball team in Miami.

"He loved Florida," Lynne said on the phone Monday. "The weather — it's like Cuba. It's the closest he could get to Cuba."

Fernandez grew up in a poor family in Havana before defecting to the United States in 1961.

In Lou Hernandez's 2003 book "Memories of Winter Ball," Fernandez recalled playing in Cuba during the revolution, including flyovers during games while the military jets conducted exercises. He said in the book that he left after the 1961 winter season, planning to return, until his parents told him not to come back.

"He always said he left without saying goodbye," Lynne said. Before he passed, they had talked about going to Havana one more time.

Fernandez picked up the nickname Chico in his playing days, and it stuck. He introduced himself as Chico, and when he and Lynne first met, in Detroit, she thought it was his real name. And even in his old age, he was never shy about reliving his playing days.

"He talked about baseball to anybody that called, anyone that visited. We've got scrapbooks of each different team," Lynne said.

According to the Free Press, Hernandez was survived by his wife, Lynne, two daughters, two step-daughters, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

Lee Pfund, longtime coach at Wheaton College, dies at 96

Bob Goldsborough
The Chicago Tribune
June 2, 2016 2:38 PM EDT

Lee Pfund pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers for one season during World War II before going on to coach baseball and basketball for decades at Wheaton College.

The west suburban native led Wheaton's men's basketball program to 362 victories, five conference championships, four straight seasons without a league loss and one national title. And during his time as Wheaton's head baseball coach, he rallied the team to win 249 games and its only conference title.

"Lee attracted good players that played well together with an up-tempo style," said former Wheaton College head men's basketball coach Dick Helm, who also played for Pfund as a student at Wheaton. "I think that made him effective."

Pfund, 96, died of congestive heart failure June 2 in an assisted living unit at the Windsor Park Manor retirement community in Carol Stream, said his son, Kerry.

Born in Oak Park, Pfund grew up in Elmhurst and graduated in 1937 from York High School, where he played football and basketball and ran track. Pfund attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he played baseball.

The St. Louis Cardinals signed Pfund out of college, and he began an eight-year professional baseball career. After four years in the minor leagues, the Brooklyn Dodgers drafted him in late 1944 and promoted him to the major leagues in 1945.

Pfund pitched in 15 games for the Dodgers, notching three victories against two losses. A knee injury during a game in July 1945 sidelined Pfund for the rest of the season.

Pfund returned to the minors in 1946, and after battling knee and shoulder injuries, quit playing in 1950. In 1949, he took a job coaching baseball and teaching physical education at Wheaton College.

"That was the outcome of my professional baseball career — that the Lord lent me an opportunity which became my adult life work," Pfund told the Tribune in 2010.

Pfund was Wheaton's head baseball coach from 1948 until 1959 and again from 1961 until 1974. His 1951 squad remains the only baseball team to have won a conference championship.

Also in 1951, Pfund began coaching Wheaton's men's basketball team. Pfund's squads won five conference titles and from 1956 until 1959 went four straight seasons without a league loss. Pfund also led the team to a 28-1 record and the NCAA Collegiate Division title in 1957.

"We ran and pressed a lot and did that pretty much all of my career," Pfund told the Tribune in 1993. "It made it more fun for the players."
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After pressure from opponents in the College Conference of Illinois, Wheaton exited in 1959 but rejoined in 1967.

"We had a long string of undefeated conference champions, and the league just wasn't comfortable with that," Pfund told the Tribune in 1993. "They really wanted to see us leave."

Helm, who played basketball for Pfund from 1951 until 1954, recalled how the coach "liked the fast-break style" and "team play." He also tried to minimize stress on players, Helm said.

"He always had an interesting halftime story to tell to keep the players relaxed," he said.

Pfund's three sons — John, Kerry and Randy — all played for him at Wheaton. Randy went on to coach the Los Angeles Lakers and became general manager of the Miami Heat.

"I must have had 25 guys who went on to coach somewhere," Pfund told the Tribune in 1993. "But those were fellows who were inclined to do those things."

Joe Bean, who spent three years as Pfund's assistant for the baseball team, said he "learned more about the game in those three years than all my others."

"What a wonderful example he was to his players, and they all respected and admired him," said Bean, now a retired men's soccer coach at Wheaton.

In 1959, Pfund earned a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Northwestern University. He stepped back from coaching basketball in 1975 and took on a different role as executive director of Wheaton's alumni association. He retired from the college in 1987 as its executive director and vice president of alumni relations.

"Lee Pfund is a revered figure from my childhood," Wheaton College President Philip Ryken said in a statement. "When my father and I ducked into the gymnasium to watch a few minutes of basketball practice, or when I walked over … to watch a baseball game, Coach Pfund was always there: teaching, encouraging, strategizing and occasionally arguing with the umpires and referees. His exceptional spirit of competition and sportsmanship produced generations of Christian leaders. We will miss his presence courtside and on the sidelines immensely."

After retiring, Pfund enjoyed golfing, watching Wheaton College sporting events, following the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bulls, involving himself in his church and serving as president of Glen Ellyn's Rotary Club. He also served on the board of Wheaton's Center for History.

In 2012, Wheaton College honored Pfund by renaming its baseball stadium the Lee Pfund Stadium at Legion Field.

Pfund's wife of 64 years, Mabel, died in 2006. In addition to his sons, he is survived by two sisters, Ruth Muzzy and Phyllis Hiley.

A visitation will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday at Hultgren Funeral Home, 304 N. Main St. in Wheaton. A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. July 9 at College Church, 332 E. Seminary Ave., Wheaton.

Ron Henry, swingin’ Denver singer, dies at 79

Henry was best known for singing and acting in Denver but had a long baseball career

By Claire Cleveland
The Denver Post
June 2, 2016

For the past 35 years, Ron Henry was a fixture at Denver bars and clubs where he was a well-known singer and actor, but what his fans may not know is that he also played major-league baseball.

To his five children, his siblings and his many grandchildren, Henry was fun-loving and a joy to be around.

“He loved his friends, he loved his life, he loved all the people he encountered, all the people he interacted with especially with the music,” said Rebecca Mobley, one of Henry’s daughters.

Ronald Baxter Henry died on May 14 at his home in Denver from cardiovascular disease and end stage renal disease. He was 79.

Mobley said if she had to pick one word to describe him, it would be “charismatic.”

“He was a fun-loving guy. He liked to laugh a lot. He was kind of a jokester,” she said. “He loved us a lot. He tried to give us a lot of good advice. … He really adored his grandkids.”

Henry, one of five children, was born on Aug. 7, 1936, to James Henry Sr. and Essie Lee Ragin Henry in Chester, Pa. He was a strong athlete throughout his childhood and started his baseball career at just 17 when he played in an American Legion all-star game. He hit a home run into the left-center-field stands at Connie Mack Stadium, former home of the Philadelphia Phillies, which earned him the MVP title for the game, said his younger sister, Valaida Henry.

The night before the big game, Henry was hanging out with his younger cousins when “he looked in the mirror at them and pretended he was swinging a baseball bat. He said he was gonna hit it out of the stadium, and then he did that,” Valaida Henry said.

A catcher, he signed with the Milwaukee Braves in 1954. With his first signing bonus, he bought his parents and siblings a home, which his sister Valaida still lives in today.

“He came one time with cash, and like you see on TV, people with money throwing it up on the bed. I remember doing that,” she said.

Henry played in the minor leagues for 15 seasons (1954-68), and he spent 20 games of the 1961 season and 22 more major-league games in 1964 as a member of the Minnesota Twins. He hit two home runs in the 1964 season.

After his baseball career ended and then a brief time in the Army, he settled in Denver, where he spent 35 years as a singer and actor, becoming an integral member of the music scene.

Henry played shows at the Manhattan Grill, the 9th Hole, which is now Roo Bar, and, most famously, The Bay Wolf in the early 1980s. He acted at various venues, including Armando’s Ristorante and Rodney’s. He also had a role in the Country Dinner Playhouse’s “Damn Yankees.”

“It was wonderful seeing your brother up on stage and seeing people loving him so,” Valaida said.

In recent years, Henry lived with and was cared for by his sister Gale Boulware and her children, Mark Boulware, Desiree Burgos and Mikel Boulware.

Henry is survived by children Rebecca Mobley, Jason Henry, Donna Moore, Sheryl Johnson and Rodney Shelton; sisters Valaida Henry and Gale Boulware; his many grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Friday at the Valley View Church of God, 4390 S. Lowell Blvd., in Englewood. A celebration of life will be Saturday at Herb’s, 2057 Larimer St., in Denver.

Former pitcher Ruben Quevedo dies at 37

By Adam McCalvy
June 8th, 2016

MILWAUKEE -- Former Brewers pitcher Ruben Quevedo has passed away at 37 of an apparent heart attack, according to multiple news reports in Venezuela.

Quevedo pitched parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues for the Cubs and Brewers from 2000-03, going 14-30 with a 6.15 ERA in 66 games (58 starts). He made 45 of those appearances after a deal from Chicago to Milwaukee at the '01 Trade Deadline.

According to, Quevedo last pitched professionally in 2008 for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. That club Tweeted about Quevedo's passing on Wednesday, saying it joined in the mourning of his death.

"Peace to his soul," the team's message said in Spanish.

Longtime Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel remembered Quevedo as a fun-loving individual, despite regular teasing from teammates about his weight and fitness.

"Everyone made light of his health and weight and stuff like that, but he was a good dude," Hanel said. "He took a lot of hits for that stuff, but he took it pretty well."

The worst of it was in 2002 Spring Training, when then-pitching coach Dave Stewart instituted a daily mile run for the pitchers. On the first day, Quevedo was unable to complete it.

"Unfortunately, it doesn't surprise me that it was a heart attack, considering the things that he battled," Hanel said. "It's a shame. He was one of those likeable guys."

Lumber co. exec, philanthropist Lou Grasmick dies

May 27, 2016 6:07 PM

BALTIMORE - Well-known Baltimore lumber company executive and philanthropist Lou Grasmick died at Johns Hopkins Hospital Thursday night.

He was 91.

The former Major League Baseball player quit in 1948 because the sport, at the time, didn't pay enough. He came back to his hometown of Baltimore and started a lumber company where he built the Ocean City Boardwalk, the National Aquarium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

He was known for giving time and money to every cause.

Grasmick was married to former superintendent of Maryland schools Dr. Nancy Grasmick.

Ronald M. Theobald
July 28, 1943 ~ April 15, 2016

Published in East Bay Times on May 21, 2016

Resident of Walnut Creek, Ron was a talented baseball player, playing on a Berkeley Babe Ruth baseball team and an Oakland Connie Mack baseball team each going to the National Championships.

He attended Berkeley High School and in 1959 lead the league in hitting and was named all A.C.A.L. The next year his family moved to Richmond, CA where he attended Harry Ells High School in 1960 and 1961, played baseball and was named All-League both years. He attended Contra Costa Junior College in 1962 and played baseball.

In 1963 he attended the University of Arizona, played 2nd base where he earned All-American honors. The Wildcats went to the College World Series where he earned All-College World Series honors as 2nd baseman. After the College World Series he signed with the Chicago Cubs, played in the minor league system until 1971 when he played 2nd base for the Milwaukee Brewers for two seasons.

In 1973 he was sent to the Islanders baseball team in Hawaii where he played one season. During the 17 years in Hawaii, he umpired baseball games and worked for UPS. In 1990 he moved to Fullerton, CA where he umpired baseball games and during the next 19 years drove a bus for Brea School District, transporting handicap children. The children and their parents loved Ron. His kindness & patience was appreciated. He took great pride in their care & safety. He moved to Walnut Creek in 2009.

Ron is predeceased by his father Merle; mother, Lila and step father Joe Lovisone. He is survived by daughter, Laura; significant other of 26 years, Shirley Finch of Fullerton, CA; former spouse, Linda Evitt of North Carolina and half brother, Donald Lovisone of Walnut Creek.

Private memorial services to follow.

Former Giants third baseman Jim Ray Hart dies

The San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, May 20, 2016 11:27 pm

Former Giants third baseman Jim Ray Hart, a staple of San Francisco’s infield in the 1960s and early 70s, died Thursday in Acampo (San Joaquin County). He was 74.

Mr. Hart played for the Giants from 1963-73, finishing second in Rookie of the Year balloting in 1964. He was an All-Star in 1966 and finished his Giants career with a .282 batting average, 526 RBIs and 157 home runs in 1,001 games.

“Everyone in the Giants organization is deeply saddened by the news of Jim’s passing,” team President Larry Baer said in a statement. “Our condolences go out to the Hart family for their tremendous loss and we extend our thoughts to Jim’s teammates, his friends, and to all those touched by his passing.”

Mr. Hart is survived by his former wife, Janet Hart-Ayala; four children, Justin, Ryan, Schineese and Heather; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Police confirm former MLB player shot wife, then self

By Sarah Grasmick
The Pueblo Chieftain
May 19, 2016 07:32PM

New details emerged Thursday about Sunday’s murder-suicide of a former Major League Baseball player and his wife.

Kenneth Ramos, 48, shot Lisa Ramos, 47, twice and himself once in their basement, according to autopsies.

The firearm discovered near the couple was purchased about a month prior to the incident, according to a press release from the Pueblo Police Department.

“Through investigation, detectives learned that Mr. and Mrs. Ramos had been having marital problems, some of which were witnessed by neighbors,” the press release indicated.

At 3:30 p.m. Sunday, police responded to 9 Ironbridge Lane on a report of a shooting. The couple was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ramos was well-known in the Pueblo community as a baseball player and coach.

A standout at East High School, he played for Otero Junior College and the University of Nebraska. He was drafted in 1988 by the Chicago Cubs, but did not sign. He did sign with the Cleveland Indians as a free agent, and ended up with the Houston Astros, playing in that organization’s minor league system.

He did reach the major leagues in 1997.

He retired in 1999 at the age of 30.

He returned to Pueblo and coached the Central High School baseball team from 2000-03.

He was inducted into the Greater Pueblo Sports Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

His wife, Lisa Lynn LeBlanc, graduated from Canon City High School and magna cum laude from the University of Colorado.

She had been employed by the state of Colorado as an accountant for the past 20 years.

Dick McAuliffe, from 1968 champion Detroit Tigers, dies at 76

George Sipple
The Detroit Free Press
May 16, 2016 8:27 p.m. EDT

Dick McAuliffe, an infielder for the 1968 World Series champion Detroit Tigers, died on Friday. He was 76.

The Tigers confirmed McAuliffe’s passing and held a moment of silence before Monday’s game for him and former first-round pick John Young.

A three-time All-Star, McAuliffe was known for his unique batting stance and 1968 fight with Tommy John.

Jim Price, a ’68 teammate and analyst for Tigers radio, remembered McAuliffe for his toughness. McAuliffe was involved in a brawl with Chicago White Sox pitcher Tommy John in August, 1968. Price said John “threw it right at his head and Dick charged the mound.”

McAuliffe was suspended five days and fined $250. During the fight, John sustained torn ligaments in his left shoulder and missed the rest of the season.

Price recalled another fight McAuliffe was involved with against the Kansas City Athletics.

“I remember a time where a pitcher drilled him,” Price said. “Next time we played them, he led off with a drag bunt. Pitcher came over to field it. (McAuliffe) knocked the pitcher over. Darndest fight you’ve seen. That’s what (McAuliffe) was like.

“We had a lot of fights in those days. They weren’t hugging and kissing. It was actual fights and Mad Dog was right there.”

Price said McAuliffe wasn’t mean though.

“Just tough,” Price said. “Not mean at all. But you do him wrong from another team, they had to pay the price.”

Price said he knew McAuliffe had been in declining health for some time.

“We saw him three or four years ago in Boston and I could see the beginnings of some problems and when you hear the reality it really sets you back,” Price said, adding there aren’t a lot of players left from the 1968 team picture.

Tigers television analyst Kirk Gibson, who grew up in Waterford, remembered watching McAuliffe as a youngster: “He had a unique stance, I’m sure a stance I tried to emulate in the backyard.”

Price said McAuliffe was Ian Kinsler for the Tigers in 1968, referring to the team’s current second baseman, who is known for his consistent play.

McAuliffe led the league with a single-season career-high 95 runs scored in 1968. McAuliffe also set single-season career highs with 24 doubles and 10 triples that season, to go along with 16 home runs. He finished seventh in the AL MVP voting that season (Tigers pitcher Denny McLain won MVP, Tigers catcher Bill Freehan was second and Tigers outfielder Willie Horton was fourth).

In an era where middle infielders didn’t have a lot of power, McAuliffe hit 24 home runs in 1964, 23 in 1966 and 22 in 1967.

McAuliffe ended his career with the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers traded him for Ben Oglivie in October 1973.

McAuliffe signed as an amateur free agent in 1957 with the Tigers and made his debut Sept. 17, 1960. He hit 192 of his 197 career home runs with the Tigers from 1960 to 1973. McAuliffe went on to play in 107 games with the Red Sox.

“Leadoff hitter, had that unorthodox stance,” Price said. “The best guy. The best teammate. Played hard every day. We were a crazy team that won in ’68. We were loose. Part of my job was to keep him loose.”

Sammy Ellis, All-Star Starter Who Later Made Dave Righetti a Reliever, Dies at 75

By Richard Goldstein
The New York Times
May 16, 2016

Sammy Ellis, an All-Star pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds who forged a second career as a pitching coach and was instrumental in converting the Yankees’ young left-handed starter Dave Righetti into a reliever, a role he fulfilled brilliantly, died on Friday in Temple Terrace, Fla. He was 75.

Ellis’s wife, Lynn, said the cause was cancer.

In 1965, his third major league season, Ellis had a 22-10 record with 15 complete games for the fourth-place Reds and was named to the National League All-Star team. He joined Jim Maloney, who went 20-9 that season, as the last Reds right-handers to win at least 20 games in a season until Johnny Cueto went 20-9 in 2014.

Ellis developed a sore arm in 1966 and never had another winning season.

Decades later, he became a pitching coach for five major league teams, starting with several stints with the Yankees between 1982 and 1986, when managers and coaches were spinning in and out of the principal owner George M. Steinbrenner’s revolving door.

Righetti had pitched a no-hitter on July 4, 1983, and showed great promise as a starter. But at spring training in 1984, seeing a brighter future for him as a reliever — and lacking a relief ace with the departure of Goose Gossage to the San Diego Padres as a free agent — Ellis, the coach Jeff Torborg and Yankees Manager Yogi Berra asked Righetti to switch to the bullpen.

“He was my first choice from Day 1,” Ellis said at the time. “I’m concerned for his longevity as a starter because of the trouble he’s had with his shoulder. Relieving is easier on the shoulder than starting if you’re not abused, and Yogi won’t abuse him.”

But with the Yankees floundering in June 1984, Righetti was deprived of Ellis’s guidance, at least for a time, when Ellis was replaced by Mark Connor, then a pitching coach in the Yankees’ minor league system.

“I hope they don’t think it’s their fault,” Ellis said of his pitching staff. “They’re not the main reason we’re 19 games out.”

As was customary with Steinbrenner’s Yankees back then, Ellis returned later, was deposed again, then reappeared in pinstripes. After his Yankee years, he was a pitching coach for the Chicago White Sox, the Seattle Mariners, the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, as well as a roving pitching instructor for the Reds.

Samuel Joseph Ellis was born on Feb. 11, 1941, in Youngstown, Ohio. After pitching for Mississippi State University, he made his major league debut with Cincinnati in 1962. He pitched for five seasons for the Reds, then concluded his career with the California Angels and the White Sox, posting a record of 63-58 over seven seasons.

In addition to his wife, Ellis, who lived in Dade City, Fla., and died at a hospice, is survived by a daughter, Tammy Parker; a son, Boe; his sisters, Joyce Williams and Genevieve Harris; 10 grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

The Yankees did not forget Ellis. Before their game with the White Sox on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, they posted his image on their video board and asked the fans for a moment of silence.

Righetti, who saved 252 games, most of them as a Yankee, is now in his 17th season as the San Francisco Giants’ pitching coach, following the second-career path of his prime mentor.

John Young, founder of MLB program Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, has died

Eric Sondheimer
The Los Angeles Times
May 9, 2016 2:00 PM

John Young, who grew up in Los Angeles, played on a national championship baseball team at Chapman University and was the founder of Major League Baseball's Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities program, has died, the commissioner's office announced on Monday. He was 67.

Bob Zamora, the coach at Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley who was a high school and college teammate of Young at Mt. Carmel in Los Angeles and Chapman, said Young had diabetes and had been hospitalized in Orange County before passing away on Sunday.

"He was a great man," Zamora said.

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. said in a statement: “All of us at Major League Baseball are saddened by the loss of John Young, a trailblazer and champion of both professional and youth baseball. Following a championship collegiate baseball career and a Minor and Major League playing career that spanned from 1969 through 1978, John became the first African-American director of scouting when he was hired by the Detroit Tigers in 1981.
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"He went on to scout for several clubs, including the Marlins, Rangers, Padres and Cubs, signing 21 future Major Leaguers to their first professional contracts. It was in this capacity that he would achieve his most enduring accomplishment — the founding of the RBI program.

"John personally started RBI in 1989 in his home city of Los Angeles with less than 200 young men. With John’s guidance, MLB assumed the operations of the program in 1991, and it has since grown to serve 230,000 young men and women in 200 cities across the United States, Canada, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

"The legacy John has left with the RBI program is evident in the impact it has had on young people who have grown to be important contributors to our society as teachers, police officers, doctors, youth coaches and as professional baseball players."

Young was a member of Chapman's 1968 national championship team.

Young is survived by his wife, Sheryl, and children Dorian, Jon and Tori.

Harry Walter Perkowski
Sep 6, 1922 - Apr 20, 2016
Joe Durham, first African-American player to homer for Orioles, dies at 84

By Mike Klingaman
The Baltimore Sun
Friday, April 29, 20

It was an everyday clout, as home runs go — a solo shot to left field in a meaningless late-season game between two teams tied for last place in the American League. Except that the man who hit it, Joe Durham, was African-American and the first of his race to homer for the Orioles in 1954.

Joseph Vann Durham died Thursday of natural causes at Northwest Hospital Hospice Center. A Randallstown resident, Durham was 84. The Orioles paid tribute to the former outfielder Thursday night with a moment of silence prior to their game against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards.

The second African-American player to suit up for the modern-day Orioles — pitcher Jehosie Heard was the first — Durham joined the team on Sept. 7, 1954, having been called up from the minors. Five days later, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Athletics, he made history. Leading off the sixth inning, Durham hit an Al Sima pitch into the left-field seats before an announced 12,981 at Memorial Stadium.

Durham also singled in a run, but the Orioles lost, 5-4 and fell to 48-96 on the season.

He batted .225 down the stretch, then entered the military for a two-year Army hitch. On his return in 1957, he started the season with Double-A San Antonio and was hitting .397 when recalled on June 11. That night, he started in center field for an injured Tito Francona and made two spectacular catches in Detroit to help pitcher Connie Johnson, also African-American, beat the Tigers, 4-1.

His play drew raves from manager Paul Richards.

"I knew [Durham] could go get 'em," the Orioles skipper told reporters. "He really showed them some foot out there, didn't he?"

In truth, he and Richards didn't get along, Durham said years later.

"He thought Richards should have called him up before the middle of June," said Bob Luke, who interviewed Durham in 2012 for his book, "Integrating The Orioles: Baseball and Race in Baltimore." "He thought Paul was a racist and said that even when they sat side by side in the dugout, if Richards had something to say to Joe, he would pass the word to one of the coaches and have him tell him."

Durham played in 77 games in 1957, batting .185. He played in the minors in 1958 and, briefly, with the St. Louis Cardinals the following year before returning to the minors and retiring in 1964.

A native of Newport News, Va., he settled in Baltimore where he officiated high school baseball and basketball games, and for years threw batting practice for the Orioles. In 1987, the club named Durham its community coordinator for baseball operations, a job for which he seemed well-suited.

"I want to be a guy that a player anywhere in the organization can come to if he can't go to his manager," Durham said. "I've been through all this before in baseball; I think I can help."

Durham is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sallie Durham, three children and four grandchildren. Services are incomplete.

"Joe lived, ate and dreamed baseball," Sallie Durham said. "When we left the hospice center Wednesday night, my daughter put the Orioles game on TV for him. Joe couldn't open his eyes, but the nurses said he could still hear."

Published in The Register Herald
April 23, 2016

On Wednesday, April 20th, 2016, Harry Perkowski passed on to his eternal home. He was in his 93rd year.

Harry was born on September 6th, 1922, in Dante, Virginia, to Polish immigrants, Ben and Feliska Perkowski. Although born in Virginia, his father - a miner - moved the family to Eccles, West Virginia, early in Harry's childhood so that is where he considered home.

Harry had a long and storied life. He was a 1942 graduate of Trap Hill High School, World War II Navy Veteran - serving in both the European and Pacific Theaters, and professional baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs (1947 - 1955).

In 1948, he married his love, Kathryn Lucille Bell, and made their home in Beckley.
Though best known as a baseball pitcher, he also served as an ambulance driver, constable, Mabscott Chief of Police, Raleigh County Sheriff's Deputy, Raleigh County school bus driver, and finally retired from the WV Department of Highways.

He enjoyed bowling, dancing, reminiscing with friends, and playing cards. He also enjoyed and cherished spending time in the company and friendship of his dear companion Nevada Angle and her entire family.
A longtime parishioner of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Beckley, Harry was a lifetime Member (50 yr.) of the Loyal Order of the Moose, Beckley Lodge.

Harry is survived by son, Harry Jr. (Alyce) of Beckley, and daughter, Jane Kalbach (Ed) of Shickshinny, PA.; five grandchildren Leah Perkowski-Sisk (Jon), Katy Perkowski (Sam), Adam Pell, Alex Pell and Kathryn Kalbach; great-granddaughter, Scarlett Phillips.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Kathryn Perkowski; brothers John, Joe, Charlie, and Alex.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to: Harry's devoted friend, Norman Davis, the marvelous staff and friends of his Greystone family and his Moose Club buddies.

The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated on Monday, April 25th, at 11:00 am at St. Francis de Sales Church. The Very Rev. Fr. Paul Wharton will be the celebrant. The Rite of Committal will follow in The Garden of the Crucifix at the Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens in Prosperity. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8:00 pm on Sunday evening at the Melton Mortuary. A Scriptural Prayer Service will be led by Rev. Mr. William Donald Wise at 7:30 pm.

Former Cub Milt Pappas dies at age 76

By Chicago Tribune Staff
April 19, 2016, 8:47 PM

Milt Pappas, the former Cubs pitcher who famously came one pitch from a perfect game, died Tuesday, Beecher police have confirmed.

Pappas was 76.

Pitching for the Cubs on Sept. 2, 1972, Pappas, then 33, had a perfect game against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field. With two outs in the ninth, pinch-hitter Larry Stahl worked the count to 3-2 before plate umpire Bruce Froemming called a close pitch a ball.

Pappas then began yelling obscenities from the mound, half of them in Greek.

Pappas got the next batter out, securing a no-hitter.

"To this day, I just don't understand it," Pappas said in 2009.

Pappas, who was born in Detroit in 1939, pitched in the majors from 1957 to 1973, the last four years for the Cubs.

Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement Tuesday the organization was sad to learn of Pappas’ death and that “we will always consider him part of the Chicago Cubs family.”

Pappas was seen often at Wrigley Field and stayed connected to the franchise at the Cubs Convention and other events.

“Milt will forever be remembered for one of the most dramatic pitching performances in team history as he delivered a no-hitter that neared perfection in 1972,” Ricketts said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends, relatives and fans as we mourn this loss.”

Pappas was preceded in death by his wife, Carole, whose body was found inside her car in a Wheaton pond in 1987, after she had been missing for five years.

Her death was ruled accidental and an autopsy confirmed she had drowned after driving her car into the water. She had gone missing in September 1982 after she left the family’s home to do some shopping.

Milt Pappas said he had no idea why his wife ended up in the body of water less than a mile from the family’s home in Wheaton.

“That’s a question that may never be answered,” Milt Pappas told the Tribune in 1987. “Why she went that way; why nobody saw a car fly through the air into the pond.”

Pappas pitched in 520 games with the Orioles, Reds, Braves and Cubs during his career, including 465 starts. He was 209-164 and struck out 1,728 and had a 3.40 ERA in 3,186 innings. Pappas also delivered 43 shutouts during his career.

The starting pitcher for the American League in the 1965 All-Star game, Pappas gave up first-inning home runs to Willie Mays and Joe Torre. After that season, Pappas was one of three players the Orioles traded for Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who won the MVP and Triple Crown and led Baltimore to the World Series title in 1966.

Aside from being known for his near-perfect game with the Cubs, Pappas was remembered for one of the 298 home runs he allowed -- Roger Maris’ 59th in 1961, when Maris surpassed Babe Ruth’s then-record 60 home runs by one.

Pappas said in 1998 that he told Commissioner Ford Frick he threw nothing but fastballs to Maris because he was upset that baseball was going to put an asterisk next to Maris’ record if he didn’t break Ruth’s record in 154 games.

Pappas also hit some during his career, 20 to be exact, including four in 1962 while with the Orioles. He also drove in 67 runs in 17 seasons.

In 1971 while with the Cubs, Pappas turned in the 10th National League perfect inning by striking out three Phillies on nine pitches in the fourth inning of a 6-1 loss on Sept. 24.

Pappas was the first 200-game winner to never win 20 games in a season. Pappas’ no-hitter in 1972 was the only one the Cubs were involved with – for or against – until Carlos Zambrano threw one for them in September 2008.

Pappas, a three-time All-Star, moved to Beecher in 1990 and married his second wife, Judi Bloome. In 2013, he was seriously injured in a one-car crash in Kankakee County after he hit a utility pole.

He is survived by his wife, Judi, and children Steve from his first marriage and Alexandria from his second marriage. A daughter, Michelle, from his first marriage, died last year.

Longtime Detroit Tigers broadcaster, Ernie Harwell's radio partner Paul Carey dies at 88, April 12, 2016 9:18 PM

(WXYZ) - Longtime Detroit Tigers broadcaster Paul Carey has died at the age of 88.

Carey has been in failing health in recent years. He was a native of Mt. Pleasant and attended both Central Michigan University and Michigan State University.

Carey spent 19 years broadcasting Tigers games with Ernie Harwell, joining him in the booth in 1973. He retired in 1991.

In addition to his time with the Tigers, Carey also worked at WJR from 1956 until 1992 and served as a play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Pistons.

Prior to his radio career, Carey served in the Army during the Korean War.

Carey was a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Nancy, and his nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements are still being determined.

Former major league GM H.B. ‘Spec’ Richardson dies

Columbus native was an executive with the Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants

When he was in San Francisco, he appeared in one of the first Miller Lite beer commercials

Richardson, 93, retired to Columbus about 25 years ago

By Chuck Williams
The Ledger-Enquirer
April 12, 2016 11:01 AM

H.B. “Spec” Richardson spent a lifetime in professional baseball, starting his career selling hot dogs and sodas for a minor league team in his hometown and climbing the ladder to become Major League Baseball’s executive of the year.

Richardson, 93, died Tuesday morning at his home in north Columbus. He had been in failing health in recent years and died of natural causes.

When he and his wife, Tommye, returned home more than 25 years ago to retire, Richardson had completed a long and colorful front-office career.

It started in 1946 as the concession manager with the Columbus, Cardinals and he rose through the ranks to general manager of the Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants.

When John Dittrich landed in Columbus as general manager of the RedStixx, he met Richardson, who he knew by reputation.

“He’s one of baseball’s good, ol’ boys,” Dittrich said. “He is the front office part of the Golden Era of the game. You had people like (Roberto) Clemente and (Hank) Aaron on the field and folks like Spec in the front office.”

Dayton Preston, who was a longtime friend and once was part of an ownership group for the minor-league Columbus Astros, said it is hard to describe Richardson’s career.

“It is almost impossible to do what he did,” Preston said. “But he did it and he was good at it. Baseball was all he knew.”

Richardson was general manager of the Astros from 1967-75.

In his role with Houston, he was was directly responsible for the construction of the Astrodome, the Astros home stadium that was dubbed the eighth wonder of the world. Richardson worked directly for Judge Roy Hofheinz, who owned the Astros, formerly the Colt 45s.

“He was Judge Hofheinz’s boy,” Dittrich said. “Spec was the one who oversaw the construction of the Astrodome.”

It started out as the Harris County Domed Stadium when it opened in 1965.

“Everything that Judge Hofheinz wanted he got and Spec saw to it,” Dittrich said. “They had suites before anyone else did. They had the exploding scoreboard long before anyone else in baseball had it. You didn’t have all the HD stuff, so they did it with neon.”

He is remembered for several major trades. In 1971 he traded Joe Morgan, Denis Menke, Jack Billingham and Cesar Geronimo to Cincinnati in exchange for a package of players that included first baseman Lee May. Morgan, Billingham and Geronimo became key players on the Reds’ championship teams.

“Sure he made some bad trades,” Dittrich said. “But every general manager in Major League Baseball who did it as long as Spec did, made some bad trades. But don’t forget, he was also baseball’s executive of the year.”

There was one trade in particular that Preston liked to rib Richardson about. In 1967, Richardson traded future Hall of Fame slugger Eddie Mathews to Detroit for pitcher Fred Gladding.

“He got a one-eyed, right-handed relief pitcher from Detroit for one of the greats of the game,” Preston said. “I always told Spec that was the dumbest trade he ever made. And Fred was one of my best friends.”

Richardson left Houston and became general manager of the San Francisco Giants, where he was named Major League "Executive of the Year" in 1978.

He is perhaps best known for a controversial 1978 trade with the Oakland Athletics in which he acquired pitcher Vida Blue for the Giants. The trade was made after Commissioner Bowie Kuhn vetoed an attempt by A's owner Charlie Finley to sell Blue to the Yankees.

Richardson kept the hotel bar napkin on which he recorded the specifics of that trade.

It was while he was with the Giants that Richardson did one of the very first Miller Lite beer commercials. He and fellow general manager Al Rosen were seen sharing a beer and trading baseball cards.

The stint with the Giants didn’t last and he was fired in 1980.

Richardson, like many ballplayers, worked his way through the minor leagues to the big leagues. After leaving Columbus, he was business manager for the Jacksonville Tars from 1949-52. He was promoted to general manager of the club that became the Jacksonville Braves and held that job until 1958.

He was the Jacksonville general manager when the team, along with Savannah, broke the color line in the South Atlantic League. That Jacksonville team included Hank Aaron, a newly signed kid from Mobile, Ala. Felix Mantilla joined Aaron on that team.

Richardson returned to Columbus with his wife, Tommye, around 1989 and they became fixtures at local minor league baseball and hockey games.

When Chicago businessman Charlie Morrow purchased the Columbus minor league franchise and moved his family here in 1994, Richardson became one of his friends and mentors, said Morrow’s widow, Martha Paull.

“He has such a love of baseball and such a love of Columbus and he wanted so badly for baseball to survive and thrive in Columbus,” Paull said. “… He did help guide Charlie in his first foray into baseball. He took his advice seriously and was a good source of information.”

Columbus Cottonmouths coach and general manager Jerome Bechard might have been a hockey guy and Richardson was a baseball man, but they built a mutual bond and respect. After he retired from baseball, Richardson volunteered in the Cottonmouths front office.

“He was old-school, business-like and sharp as a tack,” Bechard said Tuesday. “He was an open book and full of unbelievable knowledge.”

When Bechard moved off the ice and into the front office and coaching jobs, he said Richardson was always willing to help.

“I could show him anything,” Bechard said. “We would go over budgets, settlements and talk about how they did things on the major-league level and he would help me adapt.”

There also was a powerful love story in Richardson’s life. He met his wife, Tommye, a native of Fort Mitchell, Ala., when he was working with the Columbus Cardinals. She worked at the Western Union office in downtown Columbus, and he would go there every night to send dispatches back to St. Louis, the parent club.

They were married for 60 years when she died in the fall of 2009.

“They were a great team,” Preston said. “ Tommye and baseball were his life. And, as you know, baseball people who worked in management at that time had a pretty tough life — a lot of strange hours and a lot of travel. But at the end of the day, she was always the one who was in control. Spec just didn’t know it.”

Jan Hyatt lived next door to the Richardsons for the last 27 years, and they became a part of her family.

“I can still see her saying, ‘Now, Spec,’ correcting him and reeling him in,” Hyatt said. “When he wouldn’t listen to anyone else, he would listen to her.”

Paull described the relationship this way: “She was the softness to his grumpy side.”

They often attended hockey games and sat in the same seats, Bechard said.

“They were so loving and I know when Miss Tommye passed, he was like ‘I need to go, too,’ ” Bechard said. “I know he probably prayed every day to go join her.”

Richardson was recognized for his work and made it into a number of sports Hall of Fames. He’s in the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame, the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the Jordan High School Hall of Fame. He was a manager on the 1943 Jordan basketball team that won a state title.

Preston said that Richardson may have been the most significant sports figure to come out of Columbus behind only Baseball Hall of Fame member Frank Thomas.

Richardson is survived by his daughter, Cindy Venturelli, and four grandchildren, who all live in the Oakland, Calif., area. Visitation will be Friday from 5-8 p.m. at Striffler-Hamby Mortuary on Macon Road. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, also at Striffler-Hamby.

Mike Sandlock Dies at 100; Was Oldest Living Big Leaguer

By Bruce Weber
The New York Times
April 5, 2016

Mike Sandlock, a catcher and infielder for three National League teams who achieved his foremost baseball distinction decades after his playing days were over when he became the oldest living former big league ballplayer, died at his home in Cos Cob, Conn., on Monday, the day after opening day. He was 100.

His death was confirmed by his daughter-in-law Alexandria Sandlock.

Sandlock played 16 seasons of professional baseball, most of it in the minor leagues. Though he had batted over .300 in a handful of seasons in the minors, Sandlock, a switch-hitter, did not exactly scare big league pitchers from either side of the plate.

He played parts of two seasons with the Boston Braves in 1942 and 1944 — he spent 1943 working in a munitions factory — and had his best year in 1945 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, batting .282 in 80 games and swatting the only two home runs of his career. Both, oddly enough, came off pitcher Harry Feldman of the Giants.

By 1947, with many major league players having returned to baseball after serving in World War II, Sandlock was back in the minor leagues with Montreal, the Brooklyn farm team from which Jackie Robinson made his history-making leap to the major leagues.

Robinson was gone from Montreal by then, but one of Sandlock’s teammates was a young catcher he took under his wing: Roy Campanella, who would go on, as a Dodger, to win three Most Valuable Player Awards and enter the Hall of Fame. Campanella gave Sandlock credit for curing him of a tic in his throwing motion that slowed his release on stolen-base attempts.

From 1949 to 1952, Sandlock was the regular catcher for the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League, where one of his battery mates was Johnny Lindell, a former outfielder for the Yankees who was trying to rejuvenate his career as a knuckleball pitcher.

When the Pittsburgh Pirates called up Lindell, they promoted Sandlock as well, ostensibly because he had the skill and experience to catch the knuckler, a bedeviling pitch for catchers at any level to handle. The strategy was not very successful: Lindell led the major leagues in wild pitches with 11, and Sandlock led in passed balls with 15, par for the course for a team that won only 50 games that season, the fewest in either league.

Michael Joseph Sandlock was born on Oct. 17, 1915, in what is now Old Greenwich, Conn. He worked as an electrician during the Depression, a job, he told The New York Times in a 2013 interview, that paid him $200 a month and that he quit in 1938 to play ball for less than half that. His parents, he said, thought he was nuts.

Before making it to the majors, he played for teams in Huntington, W.Va.; Bradford, Pa.; Hartford; and Evansville, Ind. He finished his playing days in the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league system. For his major league career, he batted .240 in 195 games with 31 runs batted in.

Sandlock married Victoria Suchocki in 1940. She died in 1982. He is survived by two sons, Michael and Damon; six grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

After his playing career ended, Sandlock worked as a plumber, electrician and handyman. He became the oldest living former major leaguer with the death at 102 of Connie Marrero, a former pitcher for the Washington Senators, on April 23, 2014. The title now passes to the 99-year-old Eddie Carnett, who played for three teams during World War II, mostly in the outfield.

Duke’s Tom Butters dies at age 77

The News-Observer
April 1, 2016 10:16 AM

Durham: Former Duke University Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom Butters passed away on Thursday night at the age of 77, according to university officials.

Perhaps best known as the man who hired basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, Butters served 30 years as an administrator at Duke and was the university’s athletic director 1977-1997.

Butters, a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan and a former major league pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, arrived at Duke in 1967 as director of special events. He coached the Blue Devil baseball team, 1968-70, and founded the Iron Dukes fund-raising organization prior to replacing Carl James as director of athletics in 1977.

In 1997, Butters suffered a heart attack on a golf course outside Baltimore and, following quadruple bypass surgery, announced his intention to retire as A.D. at Duke.

The cause of death Thursday was not announced.

“Tom Butters was an icon in college athletics administration. ... Two decades since his retirement, Tom continued to be a giant in college athletics,” said Kevin White, Duke University’s present Director of Athletics. “Simply put, no one served Duke University or the entire profession better than Tom.”

As Duke’s director of athletics, Butters raised millions of dollars, improved facilities and insisted on excellence with integrity in his programs. He was widely recognized as a superb fund raiser, a no-nonsense administrator, savvy negotiator and excellent judge of young talent, Duke officials said in a prepared statement .

In 1980, Mike Krzyzewski was a young, relatively unknown basketball coach from Army when Butters hired him to lead Dukle’s program. After Duke and Krzyzewski endured 17-loss seasons in his second and third years, Butters gave his coach a vote of confidence with a contract extension in the middle of the 1984 season. That decision to stay the course proved to be one of Butters’ best; Krzyzewski established Duke as one of the premier programs in the country.

During Butters’ tenure, he also hired coaching standouts Jamie Ashworth (women’s tennis), Dan Brooks (women’s golf), Gail Goestenkors (women’s basketball), Kerstin Kimel (women’s lacrosse), Mike Pressler (men’s lacrosse), John Rennie (men’s soccer) and Steve Spurrier (football). He also oversaw the addition of the women’s soccer, women’s track & field and women’s lacrosse programs as well as the creation of the Duke Athletics Hall of the Fame.

As a member of the NCAA Basketball Committee from 1989-94, Butters was instrumental in the $1 billion deal struck with CBS Sports for the broadcast rights to March Madness. Closer to home, he raised millions of dollars to update facilities and initiated a scholarship endowment program that helped Duke focus its resources in sports that could be competitive for championships.

Butters, an avid golfer, also spearheaded the fund raising efforts for the redesign of the Duke University Golf Club in 1994 that helped bring the 2001 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship to Durham.

Duke Athletics rose to new heights under Butters with the school’s first NCAA team championship (men’s soccer; 1986), landmark back-to-back national titles in men’s basketball (1991-92), the Blue Devils’ first ACC football championship and bowl bid (1989) since the 1960s, and the emergence of one of the top women’s athletics programs in the country. Duke won 40 ACC team titles during Butters’ term as AD, almost twice as many as had been accomplished during its previous 24 years of conference membership.

Duke annually graduated over 95 percent of its student athletes during Butters’ regime, highlighted by nine Academic Achievement Awards for leading the nation in football graduation rate between 1981 and 1997. Butters’ efforts to promote athletic success as well as academic excellence was reward in 1996, when he received a lifetime achievement honor from the All-American Football Foundation, the Gen. Robert R. Neyland Award for Athletic Directors.

Butters also served as chairman of the College Football Association’s football championship study committee and was ranked as one of the Top 50 Most Powerful People in Sports during the mid-1990s. In 1999, Butters was inducted into the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame, which is located in a building named in his honor, the Schwartz-Butters Center adjacent to Cameron Indoor Stadium. He was also inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

“His legacy stands as one of the greatest in this industry, for his track record of hiring outstanding coaches, innovating fundraising models, and, most importantly, creating a culture of unparalleled integrity at Duke that still stands as a model for all intercollegiate athletics,” White said.

“To be sure, Tom will be sorely missed, especially at Duke, where his impact is still felt daily nearly 20 years beyond his tenure. We offer our deepest sympathy to his wife beloved Lynn and to Tom’s amazing family.”

Butters is survived by his wife Lynn, daughter Jill Steidle and son-in-law Ward Steidle of Malvern, Pa., son Bret and daughter-in-law Nancy of Durham, and six grandchildren.

Mourning Puerto Rican Baseball

The former outfielder Orlando Alvarez died yesterday of complications with diabetes

By Ruben A. Rodriguez
Thursday March 31, 2016 - 7:44 PM

Orlando Alvarez a former gardener who saw his career cut short in its principles by a pitch on his face, died today, Thursday, at 64.

Alvarez, who in the seventies was considered one of the main Puerto Rican prospects in baseball, was suffering in recent years from diabetes.

He born in Canovanas. Alvarez was signed by the organization of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1970 when he was 18. He played in the outfield.

In 1973 he made his debut in the majors participating in four challenges. He was a skilled defensive player with a good arm. It was an average hitter with speed on the bases.

"I had many tools. Was good fielding and batting although it was not long footage, "said Carlos Pieve, a former general manager in winter ball.

"It hurt his death a lot. He was a good friend. "

Alvarez had an upward trend in organized baseball until early in his career was hit in the face by a pitch while playing winter ball with the San Juan Senators.

"That bolazo him out of the race. It could have been better player, but that shot him cowering. It was not the same player since, "said Pieve.

Alvarez kept playing after the accident. It was even part of the campeoniles editions of the Bayamon Vaqueros formerly senators in the campaigns of 1974-75 and 1975-76.

In the United States, he was traded to the California Angels and played there until 1976. Later it was part of the franchise of St. Louis, Cincinnati and Philadelphia, where he was active until 1978.

"I pulled him out of retirement. One day I found in Canovanas and saw him physically well. I was the general manager of Arecibo and I took him there, "he said recalling Pieve season 1982-83.

Alvarez was an essential part of that season for the Wolves won their first national championship. Also won the Caribbean Series.

"From my point of view I did you a big favor. Perhaps he had not given that enjoyment in the final part of his career. When I picked I was out of baseball. It was a very serious and responsible person, "Pieve said.

Alvarez also worked as an evaluator of talent in the organization of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Joe Garagiola, a Catcher Who Called a Better Game on TV, Is Dead at 90

By Richard Goldstein
The New York Times
March 23, 2016

Joe Garagiola, who spent nine forgettable seasons in the major leagues as a weak-hitting catcher and then parlayed his witty tales of life as a baseball underachiever into a far more notable career as a folksy broadcaster and television personality, died on Wednesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 90.

Major League Baseball announced his death.

Garagiola was propelled from the catcher’s box into the broadcast booth largely by his crowd-pleasing appearance before a United States Senate subcommittee on monopoly practices in April 1954. At the time, he was playing for the Chicago Cubs.

The committee chairman, Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado, had sponsored a bill to make corporate ownership of baseball teams illegal and was targeting one of Garagiola’s former teams, the St. Louis Cardinals, who were owned by the Anheuser-Busch brewery.

Garagiola, who was near the end of his playing career, had been looking for a radio job in St. Louis. Because the advertising agency working on his behalf also represented the brewery, Johnson suggested that the Cardinals were guilty of “tampering” by improperly trying to lure him from the Cubs.

“Senator, how can you tamper with a .250 hitter?” Garagiola said.

His testimony, laced with the self-deprecation and irreverence that would become his trademarks, attracted enthusiastic press coverage and earned him a broadcasting job with the Cardinals.

He went on to be a colorful broadcaster for NBC, which also made him a host of the “Today” show and a game-show personality, always recognizable by his bald head and broad smile.

“The Baseball World of Joe Garagiola,” an NBC pregame show, won a Peabody Award in 1973. Garagiola was cited for a segment titled “The Hill,” in which “he returned to his old neighborhood in St. Louis for a warm portrait capturing with great fidelity a sense of time and place.”

He was later a broadcaster for the Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Garagiola was inducted into the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 as a recipient of the annual Ford C. Frick Award.

The longtime sportscaster Bob Wolff, who teamed with Garagiola on NBC, admired his style.

“He was a very erudite fellow,” Curt Smith quoted Wolff as saying in “Voices of the Game” (1987), a history of baseball broadcasting. “He’d bring new words to the booth. Instead of saying, ‘A runner almost slid into the shortstop,’ Joe’d say, ‘He almost stapled him to the bag.’ ”

During his playing days, Garagiola spoke at banquets and found he could make people laugh.

“I made a real effort to become a talk-for-pay guy,” he recalled in “Baseball Is a Funny Game,” his collection of anecdotes written in 1960 with Martin Quigley. “Every day I agitated Harry Caray, the St. Louis Cardinal broadcaster, about what a soft job he had. His answer was that if I could hit like I could talk, I wouldn’t have any worries.”

As he had done in his congressional testimony years before, he continued to find humor in his own foibles.

“Each year I don’t play, I get better,” he once observed. “The first year on the banquet trail, I was a former ballplayer, the second year I was great, the third year one of baseball’s stars, and just last year I was introduced as one of baseball’s immortals. The older I get, the more I realize that the worst break I had was playing.”

Joseph Henry Garagiola was born in St. Louis on Feb. 12, 1926, and was raised on the Hill, an Italian working-class neighborhood, where his father, Giovanni, was an immigrant laborer. His best friend and teammate on the makeshift ball fields was a boy who lived across the street, Yogi Berra.

Garagiola joined the Cardinals’ minor league system at 16 while Berra was starting out in the Yankees’ organization. Garagiola made his major league debut with the Cardinals in 1946 and batted .316 in their seven-game World Series victory over the Boston Red Sox that year, getting four hits in Game 4.

That proved the high point of Garagiola’s on-field career. He was traded to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1951 season and, after a stint with the Cubs and a few games with the New York Giants, retired after the 1954 season, having played in only 676 games, with a career batting average of .257.

Garagiola had no experience in on-air work, but he felt that all those games when he was not in the lineup had prepared him well. As he told Curt Smith, “I used to sit in the bullpen and say, ‘Why the hell doesn’t he throw the curveball?’ Well, all I had to do to become an announcer was take out the ‘hell.’ ”

Garagiola was hired by the Cardinals’ flagship radio station, KMOX, when his playing days ended and teamed with Caray and Jack Buck. Garagiola was hired by NBC-TV in 1961 for its “Game of the Week,” joining Lindsey Nelson for one season and then working with Wolff. He later teamed with the former Yankee Tony Kubek and then Vin Scully, broadcasting regular-season games along with the playoffs and the World Series.

Garagiola replaced Mel Allen with the Yankees and was a member of their broadcast team from 1965 to 1967, along with Red Barber, Phil Rizzuto and Jerry Coleman. With Berra’s career as a Yankees catcher propelling him toward the Hall of Fame, Garagiola embellished his boyhood friend’s image with his tales of Yogi the Everyman philosopher.

Berra, who died in September, said that he came up with one of his better-known pronouncements, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” while giving Garagiola directions to his home in Montclair, N.J. There really was a fork near his house, and the roadways it split into both wound up at the Berra home.

Garagiola was a broadcast commentator for the Diamondbacks in his later years and retired from broadcasting in February 2013. His son Joe Garagiola Jr. was the general manager of the Diamondbacks and is now Major League Baseball’s senior vice president for standards and on-field operations.

Besides his son, the elder Garagiola is survived by his wife, Audrie; a daughter, Gina; another son, Steve; and eight grandchildren, according to Major League Baseball.

Garagiola had two stints as a host of NBC-TV’s “Today.” In the late 1960s and early ’70s, he worked with Barbara Walters, Hugh Downs and Frank McGee, and in the early 1990s he appeared with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel. Garagiola was also a host of TV game shows, including “To Tell the Truth” and “He Said, She Said.”

His commentary on the USA Network for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden made him the inspiration for the character Buck Laughlin, played by Fred Willard, in “Best in Show,” Christopher Guest’s 2000 documentary spoof. Garagiola was not amused.

“I think the satire went way over the top,” he told The New York Times.

Garagiola was a longtime president of the Baseball Assistance Team, which provides confidential financial assistance to needy former baseball figures. Warning of the risk of cancer, he campaigned vigorously against the use of chewing tobacco.

In 2013, the Baseball Hall of Fame gave Garagiola the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the game.

Garagiola was serious enough about his TV and radio career, but his on-air persona was anything but. He defined his approach in his 1980 book, “It’s Anybody’s Ballgame,” writing: “I want the broadcast to sound like two guys sitting at the ballpark, talking about the game, with the viewer eavesdropping. It’s not High Mass, and it’s not a seminar — it’s a ballgame.”

Frederick C. (Fuzz) Richards
November 3, 1927 - March 18, 2016

Carl W. Hall Funeral Home
March 20, 2016

Frederick was born on November 3, 1927 and passed away on Friday, March 18, 2016.

Frederick was a resident of Warren, Ohio at the time of his passing. He graduated from Leavittsburg High School in 1945. He was married to Isabelle.

Services will take place on Wednesday March 23 2016 at 11:00 am at Grace United Methodist Church in Warren OH. Family and friends may gather on Tuesday March 22 from 5 to 7 pm at Carl W. Hall Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church.

Entombment will take place at Crown Hill Burial Park Vienna OH.

In lieu of flowers please make any memorial contributions to Alzheimer's Association 70 West Streetsboro Street Suite 201 Hudson OH 44236.

Richard Urlage
1933 - 2016

Published in the Kentucky Enquirer on Mar. 13, 2016

Richard (Dick) Urlage, 82, born September 6, 1933 in Covington, KY, son of Charles Urlage and Della (Brewer) Urlage passed from this life on February 14, 2016.

Dick is survived by his wife of 63 years Margie (nee Schroder) Urlage; daughter Connie (Cindy LaBauve) Duncan, son Mick (Judy) Urlage, son Jim (Jane) Urlage, daughter Julie (Brian) Ficker, daughter-in-law Penny Krebs; 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by his son Bill Urlage. Also survived by his sister Betty Ann (Jack) Steiber and his brother Jerry (Barbara) Urlage; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Dick was a proud graduate of Newport Catholic High School where he lettered all 4 years in all 3 sports. He played professional baseball for the New York Giants from 1951-1955 and then played Semi-Pro Baseball in the Buckeye League from 1956-1971.

Dick began his officiating career in 1954 which continued thru 1996 (42 yrs). In the early years he officiated all 3 sports for various Northern Kentucky teams.

Dick went on to umpire Big Ten, SEC, Mid-America, OVC, Southern Conference and Great Lakes Valley Conference. He also had the honor of umpiring 2 NCAA Division II World Series. Included in his many wonderful accomplishments throughout his officiating career was the opportunity to umpire at both Crosley Field and Riverfront Stadium.

Dick was a member of the Newport Catholic Sports Hall of Fame, the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, and is acknowledged in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

Dick will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. Memorial Mass to be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on March 19, 2016 at St. Therese Church in Southgate, KY.

Memorial contributions may be made in Dick's name to the Newport Central Catholic Athletic Fund.

Bill Whitby
The James Funeral Home
March 12, 2016

William Edward Whitby, 72, of Huntersville went to be with his Lord on March 12, 2016. He was born on July 29, 1943 in WhitbyNottoway County, VA to the late William and Edna Whitby. Bill signed with the Minnesota Twins in June 1961 as a pitcher. He pitched 1963-65 with the Old Charlotte “Hornets”. He married “Miss Hornet” of 1964 in 1965 and she was his faithful wife of 50 years.

Survivors include his wife Donelle Ranson Whitby; sons, William Brian Whitby (Kim) of Huntersville and Kevin Hunter Whitby (Laura) of Charlotte; grandchildren, Delaney, Blakely and Davis; siblings, Ann Golden, Nancy Kerns and Elsie Shelton. He is preceded in death by his brother Eddie Whitby.

Memorials may be made to Huntersville A.R.P. Church, PO BOX 316, Huntersville, NC 28070 or Hospice of Charlotte, 1420 E 7th St. Charlotte, NC 28204.

A memorials service will be held at 2 PM Saturday, March 19 at Huntersville A.R.P. Church with visitation to follow in the family life center.

James Funeral Home of Huntersville is serving the family.

'Mr. Baseball' Steve Kraly leaves mark in Tier
Lynn Worthy, lworthy@
8:58 p.m. EST March 7, 2016

Steve Kraly, local baseball legend, former New York Yankees pitcher and longtime official scorer at Binghamton Mets games, died at 7:25 a.m. Monday following a long battle with cancer. The Johnson City resident was 86.

Kraly was diagnosed with cancer in February 2015.

“He kept saying he was going to beat it even at the age of 86,” his son Steve said. “He’s my idol.”

Steve said his father had been cared for by many family members, including several from out of state, in recent weeks while staying with his daughter Kathy Palmer in Johnson City. Kathy and Steve’s wife, Lori, led what Steve described as a true “family effort.”

He was predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Irene, who died in 2006. Kraly is survived by four children, Steve a resident of Apalachin, Tom a resident of Whitney Point, Kathy Palmer a Johnson City resident, Bob a resident of Virginia Beach, Va., and six grandchildren.

Calling hours will be held Thursday from 3:30-7:30 p.m. at St. James Roman Catholic Church on Main Street in Johnson City. The funeral service will take place on Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. at St. James Roman Catholic Church.

Kraly, a native of Whiting, Indiana, had been a fixture in the press box at B-Mets games since the franchise’s inaugural season in 1992 until last season when his illness prevented him from scoring games on a regular basis.

“Our community just lost one of its icons,” former B-Mets President and co-owner Mike Urda said. “Aside from being a great ambassador for baseball, Steve was one of the finest, most likable human beings I ever met. He had a big heart and he lit up a room when he walked into it. A very classy man who loved his wife, he’ll now be with her probably dancing in heaven. God bless him and his wife. It’s a sad day for this community.”

Kraly, a 5-foot-10, 155-pound left-hander, signed with the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1949. His stops in the minor leagues included a season in Independence, Kansas, in 1949 and Joplin, Missouri, in 1950 before a two-year interruption by his service in the Army.

In 1953, he posted an outstanding 19-2 record and pitched 19 complete games for a Binghamton Triplets team that went on to win the Eastern League championship. He made his major league debut on Aug. 9, and appeared in five games, including three starts.

He went 0-2 with a 3.24 ERA and recorded one save with the Yankees in 1953. In his final start of that season, he allowed one run in eight innings and took the loss as the Yankees fell 1-0 to Cleveland and future Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Lemon. Kraly received a World Series ring as part of the Yankees 1953 championship team.

Kraly went into the Binghamton Baseball Shrine in 1997, and will be inducted into the Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame next month.

Former Press & Sun-Bulletin sports editor and columnist John W. Fox covered the Triplets during Kraly’s historic season.

“He was really highly regarded when he came here,” Fox said. “He just had a tremendous year. He was gone from here on July 31 so his 19-2 was all in, I don’t know how many games they had by then.”

Fox called that year’s Triplets staff “probably as good a pitching staff as Binghamton ever saw.”

After retiring from professional baseball – his last season in the minors was 1960 – Kraly worked for IBM in Owego. He served as official scorer for B-Mets home games from 1992 through the 2014 season. When he spoke about baseball, he had a tendency to draw a captive audience.

“You know what it was, he told great stories about not only his playing days but even his experiences working up in the press box since the B-Mets came to town in the early 90s,” B-Mets general manager Jim Weed said. “He obviously had some great stories of when he played, and those were always fascinating.

“The funny thing is you would think that when you’re with him enough you’d hear some of those stories over and over. You never did. You never heard the same story.”

Kraly remained entrenched as the team’s official scorer for more than 20 years, though he had “retired” on more than one occasion only to return without missing a season.

The B-Mets never actively looked for a replacement because when spring rolled around, Kraly found his way back into the scorer’s seat in the press box.

Scotty Brown, who was the B-Mets general manager from 2005 to 2009, currently works as the general manager of the Triple-A Charlotte Knights of the International League.

“He’s like Mr. Baseball in Binghamton,” Brown said. “He had done it all, seen it all, been through it all and enjoyed it all. He loved the game.”

Brown hasn’t worked in Binghamton in seven years, but still has a signed picture of Kraly framed in his office at the ballpark in Charlotte, N.C. Brown said he’ll remember Kraly most for his love of the game and his feistiness when it came to his rulings as scorer. He’d bark right back at any manager who questioned his call, but all would be forgotten the next day.

Lou Ferraro, a longtime B-Mets employee and a former local baseball coach and umpire, got to know Kraly when Ferraro was part of the Endicott Umpires Association in the 1980s and Kraly served as director of recreation at IBM. Ferraro later had Kraly as a guest speaker when he operated the Triple Cities Baseball Clinic along with longtime Union-Endicott coaches Ed Folli and Pete Sylvester. Kraly once signed and personalized 120 autographed pictures for a group of youth and high school coaches, Ferraro said.

The two later worked together in the press box at B-Mets games. Ferraro recalled one instance in 1997 when the B-Mets hosted a Hall of Fame pitcher who refused to sign autographs or even a ball for a fundraiser for a sick child, and Kraly let loose a tirade before signing the ball himself.

“Steve made him feel about two feet tall,” Ferraro said. “That’s how Steve was. He wasn’t afraid to say what he felt or how it was. That’s what made him the tremendous gentleman he always was.”

Ferraro and current Binghamton High School varsity baseball coach Dave Buchak both described Kraly as opinionated and at times brutally honest, but also kind enough to give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.

Buchak remembers Kraly taking time out to talk with some of his players when he was the varsity baseball coach at Johnson City High School. Buchak considered Kraly’s old-school approach to baseball something he was lucky to have had as a resource in his own coaching career.

“Right in your own home town you had the ability to talk to a guy who played on the same field with some of the best baseball players on the face of the Earth in the history of the game,” Buchak said of his last memory of Kraly. “Just the wealth of knowledge of some of the things he has experienced, the things he has seen, the players he has worked with, that’s my biggest lasting memory.”

Robert Oberton Spicer, Sr.
April 11, 1925 ~ February 27, 2016 (age 90)

The Rogers & Breece Funeral Home
February 29, 2016

Mr. Robert Oberton Spicer, Sr., 90, of Fayetteville died peacefully on Sat. Feb. 27, 2016.

Bob played professional baseball for 15 years and worked at Ed Fleishman & Bros. and also, Devine's Sporting Goods until he retired.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Lottie Spicer, his brother, Jesse Spicer, Jr. and sister, Phyllis McArthur.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years, Evelyn Fay Spicer of the home; daughter, Rhonda Carper, and husband, Charlie of Port Orange, Fla.; son, Robert "Bobby" Spicer, Jr. and wife, Rory of Fayetteville; and three grandchildren, Caroline Spicer of Fayetteville, Emily Spicer of Wilmington, and Cooper Wurst of Cullowee; and many other relatives in Cali., Ark., and Va.

A celebration of Bob's life will be held at 11 am Thurs. March 3, 2016 in Snyder Memorial Baptist Church where Bob was a member since 1953. The family will receive friends from 6-8 pm Wed. March 2, 2016 at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in memory of Bob Spicer to HealthKeeperz Hospice or Alzheimer's Society.

Kevin Michael Collins
August 4, 1946 - February 20, 2016

The Fuller Funeral Home
February 24, 2016

Kevin Michael Collins, age 69, passed away suddenly at his winter home in Naples, Florida on February 20, 2016, surrounded by loved ones. Kevin was born on August 4, 1946 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Michael and Virginia (Munyan) Collins. After a stellar schoolboy athletic career at Springfield Technical High School in Massachusetts, Kevin accepted an offer from the New York Mets and for the better part of the next ten years, played professional baseball. He was a hard-nosed, steady utility player for a number of teams including the Detroit Tigers and the Montreal Expos.

While with Montreal, he hit the first ever pinch-hit home run for that organization. Kevin played baseball at a time when a player’s salary was about the same as a teacher or police officer; a time, as he used to say, when baseball was simply “about a ball, a bat and a glove”.

When he finally hung up his cleats, he had no complaints, and no regrets. "I was a guy who played the game the right way," he said in an interview once, "Nobody ever had to tell me how to compete. I… gave you all I had, whether or not that was enough".

In his youth, he benefited from his local Boys and Girls Club and later went on to devote much of his time and abilities to that organization. In 1974, he left baseball to settle with his young family in the metro Detroit area and took a job with Summa-Harrison Metal Products and then later with Mexican Industries, an auto parts supplier in southwest Detroit.

Kevin continued to share his love of the game with talented young ball players. As the Head Coach and Player Manager, Kevin competed in the Detroit Federal League as well as the Pontiac Men’s Class A League gaining local, regional and national attention year after year at the AABC Stan Musial World Series.

Kevin had a passion not only for sports, but also politics and current events and was always up for a lively discussion. His smile and engaging nature always made you feel like you were a lifelong friend. He was always ready, too, to tell a good story or share advice if asked, and you could always count on his use of “colorful” language. Kevin never met a dog he didn’t like and was always at the ready to lavish them with love and treats. He cherished his family and friends and there was no one he loved more than his three devoted grandchildren. If you were lucky enough to rub shoulders with Kevin Collins, there's no doubt that you were better for it.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his in-laws, Armand and Eileen (Webb) Laflamme.

He is survived by his loving wife, Linda Marie (Laflamme) Collins, who he met at age 17 on the day he signed his first major league baseball contract and with whom he recently celebrated his 48th wedding anniversary. He is cherished and survived by his two children, Michael (Kirsten) Collins and Kelly (Keith) Binkowski, both of Michigan, and leaves behind his three biggest fans, grandchildren Joseph Binkowski, Katherine Binkowski and Lucas Collins. He also leaves behind his two sisters, Nancy (John) Pollard and Kathleen (Ralph) Disa, and sister-in-law Ann (John) Komer, of Massachusetts. He will be celebrated and remembered by all who knew him, including his nieces, nephews, godchildren and countless friends and extended family.

A Celebration of His Life will take place at a later date in both Michigan and his home state of Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Naples Humane Society.

Broadcasting legend, White Sox exec Einhorn, 80, mourned

By Scott Merkin
February 25th, 2016

Glendale, Ariz. -- Eddie Einhorn, a White Sox executive for 35 seasons who spent six decades in the sports and broadcasting industries, died late Tuesday night in New Jersey from complications following a stroke. He was 80.

"Eddie was a creative whirlwind whose ideas -- many of them far ahead of their time -- changed the landscape of sports, and sports on television, forever," White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. "He was a man of many interests, projects, ideas and opinions, and we all will miss him dearly.

"It is exceedingly rare in this day and age to have enjoyed a friendship and a working partnership that lasted our lifetimes. We celebrated many great moments together."

Einhorn concluded his 25th season as vice chairman of the Chicago White Sox in 2015. He was the team's president and chief operating officer from 1981-90, and he was a member of the Chicago Bulls' board of directors as he continued his long-standing involvement with Reinsdorf that dated to law school at Northwestern. The two headed a limited partnership that purchased the White Sox in 1981.

"All of us at Major League Baseball are deeply saddened by the loss of White Sox vice chairman Eddie Einhorn, a leader in the world of sports and broadcasting," Commissioner Rob Manfred said. "He was a sports television pioneer and a huge champion of youth baseball. In recent years, he bridged those twin passions through the National Youth Baseball Championships, which appeared on MLB Network and

"A proud and loyal leader of the White Sox, owned by his longtime friend Jerry Reinsdorf, Eddie took delight in the franchise's momentous 2005 world championship. Most of all, for decades Eddie was a friend to seemingly all in the baseball and the broader sports communities. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Eddie's wife Ann, their daughter -- and our former colleague -- Jenny, their son Jeff, and their entire family, as well as his countless friends throughout the White Sox organization and our game as a whole."

Einhorn was the founder and chairman of TVS Television Network, a leader in sports programming in the 1970s. The TVS telecast of college basketball's "Game of the Century" between the Houston Cougars and the UCLA Bruins at the Astrodome in 1968 is credited for the growth in popularity of college basketball on television.

The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City inducted Einhorn as a contributor in 2011 for his vision in founding TVS in 1965 and for his role in catapulting college basketball into national prominence. Presented by Dick Enberg, Einhorn was joined in the class by players James Worthy, Ralph Sampson, Cazzie Russell and Chris Mullin; coaches Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton; and fellow contributor Joe Vancisin.

"He was an interesting man and a great man," White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider said of Einhorn. "I've known him probably since day one, since Jerry and Eddie took over. He was an incredibly brilliant guy.

"A lot of people didn't know how brilliant he was. He did a lot with [pro] wrestling. He did a lot with the NCAA Tournament, which is basically his brainchild. He and I had a very special relationship with his family and my family and everything else. It really is a very sad day about that happening."

Einhorn authored a book entitled "How March Became Madness." It traced his days of televising college basketball in the 1960s to the present through interviews with more than 50 people responsible for the game's growth, including John Wooden, Elvin Hayes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Digger Phelps and Enberg.

In an extensive interview with 10 years ago, not long after Chicago's World Series victory, Einhorn also touched on his outlook for the future. He was in very good health at the time after undergoing a kidney transplant in October 2004.

"You just stay healthy and whatever you pick off from now on is gravy," Einhorn said. "I remember the words of a fellow named Joe E. Lewis, who was an old comedian. At the end of his act, he would say, 'You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.'

"That's how I live my life. I still plan to do some more things. I came from a kidney transplant a couple of years ago to an incredible year here. If I can keep on a streak like this, it would be pretty nice."

During his 30-plus years in baseball, Einhorn was a member of MLB's Schedule Format Committee, the Professional Baseball Association Committee and Player Development Committee, and was a member of the Television Committee from 1992-95. He was a key architect of The Baseball Network, MLB's joint broadcasting venture. Also recognized as the architect of baseball's first billion-dollar television contract, Einhorn was instrumental in negotiating MLB's 1990 deal with CBS and ESPN.

In 1989, Einhorn was appointed television consultant to the United States Olympic Committee and was responsible for a 200-hour Olympic television package that debuted in 1990. He was a television consultant for the U.S. Figure Skating Association for many years. Prior to joining Reinsdorf with the White Sox in 1981, Einhorn was the executive producer of "CBS Sports Spectacular." At CBS, he was responsible for more than 100 hours of programming per year and won an Emmy Award for "The Gossamer Albatross, Flight of Imagination," in 1980.

Of the many awards Einhorn received during his career, he most notably was honored by his hometown of Paterson, N.J., with the Mayor's Award for civic contribution. Einhorn founded Cooperstown Baseball World, a sports camp complex for kids in Oneonta, N.Y. As a longtime advocate of youth baseball, Einhorn was responsible for developing the National Youth Baseball Championship (NYBC), a tournament that crowns 10U through 14U national champions from the major youth travel baseball organizations.

Services will be held Sunday at noon ET at Louis Suburban Chapel in Fair Lawn, N.J. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Einhorn's name to the Professional Scouts Foundation.

The White Sox will honor Einhorn, who worked as a vendor at Comiskey Park from 1959-60, by wearing a sleeve patch during the regular season.

Einhorn stayed in the background during the World Series championship in 2005, but much like everyone else in the organization, he relished the amazing title run.

"It's like we were geniuses," Einhorn said in '06. "We've had plans for 25 years and thought we were pretty cool, but we never did it. This time the magic took."

White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams called Einhorn "one of the 10 greatest characters" that he's ever met in his life, and encouraged people to learn what Einhorn did in the landscape of sports television. Einhorn also was one of Williams' staunchest supporters in the early part of the decade and years before the franchise's 2005 World Series title, even when Williams was going for it and occasionally swinging and missing.

"I was taking some heat in the media and from some of our fans, and he was one of the guys that would make sure he would stop in and give a little bit of encouragement to continue on," Williams said. "I can hear him saying now, 'Keep swinging away because we are starving for a championship here. I'm loving what you are doing. Don't pay attention to anyone. Just keep swinging away for the fences.'

"Just little things like that, little bits of encouragement like that. They go a long way."

Manager Robin Ventura described Einhorn as "a great, great man," who was always fun to be around.

"I loved talking TV and college basketball, and not only what he meant to that sport, but sports in general," Ventura said. "A special man, and [he] was around here for a long time. A lot of people on staff knew him really well. It's sad."

Brock Pemberton, 62

The Daily Ardmoreite
Feb. 21, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Brock Pemberton, 62, passed away Wednesday, February 17, 2016.

Brock was born in Tulsa, Okla., in 1953 to Carol and Cliff Pemberton.

His family moved to southern California in 1968 where it was the wildest of times and the best of times (with burning leaves). Brock graduated from Marine High School in 1972. At that time he earned co-player of the year in California for baseball and was drafted with the New York Mets in the 6th round. He played in the minor leagues from 1972-1974 during his Triple AAA season he won the Golden Glove award.

He played one year in the Majors and then became player/coach for the Macon Georgia Peaches Triple AAA Club.

Brock found his passion in New Mexico working as a Professional Landscaping and Commercial Irrigation Supervisor at State Parks, State and Federal Indian Reservations and Colleges.

Brock was a free spirit. He loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting and gardening. He was also a fabulous baker and cook.

He was married for 22 years and moved to Ardmore, Okla., in June of 2011.

Brock is preceded in death by his parents, Cliff and Carol Pemberton.

Brock is survived by one brother, 2 sisters, brothers and sisters-in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins.

No services are scheduled at this time.

Arrangements are under the direction of Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home.

Original SF Giant Jim Davenport dies

By Henry Schulman
The San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, February 19, 2016 10:11 am PST

Jim Davenport, an original San Franciso Giant who went on to a long career with the organization after his playing days as a third baseman, has died, the Giants announced Friday morning. He was 82.

The team said he died Thursday night in Redwood City of heart failure. He had been in ill health.

Davenport came up with the Giants in 1958, their first year in San Francisco, and spent his entire 12-year playing career in the orange and black. He was a career .258 hitter.

Davenport also served as a coach and briefly as manager. He was hired for the start of the 1985 season and was replaced after 56-88 start when owner Bob Lurie changed the management team and hired Al Rosen as general manager, and Rosen installed Roger Craig as manager.

Davenport, known as “Davvy,” continued to work for the Giants as a coach, scout and instructor.

The Giants issued a statement by president Larry Baer that read, “The passing of Jim Davenport brings great sadness to our organization. “Jim had a wonderful spirit and was a great Giant. We will always remember Davvy. We express our deepest condolences to his family and will have them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Felipe Alou, who followed Davenport to the majors in 1958, called the Alabama native “a big, big player. There were some big players in that team, Hall of Fame type of guys, and I’m telling you that Davenport was a big player and a big part of the team.”

Alou said considered Davenport a great teammate.

“He, to me, was the best teammate that I had outside of the Latinos,” he said. ‘The guy being from the South, Alabama, he always cared for us. Incredible individual. We felt, the Latinos, like he was one of us.”

Giants executive vice president Brian Sabean said Davenport’s death is “tough on all of us,” personally and professtionally. Sabean counted Davenport, along with Joe Amalfitano and Jack Hiatt, as a a trio of great instructors who had a big impact on Giants prospects.

Former A's player Tony Phillips dies

By John Hickey
The Mercury News
February 19, 2016 10:28:14 AM PST

OAKLAND -- Tony Phillips, who started out playing for the A's under Billy Martin and went on to an 18-year career as one of baseball's most versatile players, has died, the A's announced Friday.

The cause of his death, which occurred on Wednesday, was an apparent heart attack.

The highlight of Phillips' career was fielding the ground ball hit by the Giants' Brett Butler and flipping it to closer Dennis Eckersley at first base for the final out of the 1989 World Series, a 4-0 sweep by the A's.

"We already knew that was gonna happen," Phillips said of the sweep during an interview last summer before playing a few games with the independent Pittsburg Diamonds. "I think we had beat 'em like 16 straight in spring training."

Phillips is the third player from the A's championship teams from 1988-90 to have died in less than two years. Pitcher Bob Welch passed in June of 2014 and outfielder Dave Henderson died in December. The A's won three straight American League pennants and the '89 World Series from 1988-90.

Phillips, a switch-hitter, parlayed his 1989 World Series ring into a multiple-year contract with the Detroit Tigers, becoming one of the game's best on-base and run-producing players. He led the American League in walks with 132 in 1993, a year after he had 114 runs and 114 walks for the Tigers, the best in the league.

In 1993 he became the only player in big league history to ever have 100 hits, walks, runs and strikeouts while hitting fewer than 10 homers.

Phillips hit seven homers that year, but had 19 in 1994, his last year with the Tigers. He had a career-best 27 in 1995, his first year with the Angels. He finished his career in Oakland under Art Howe, hitting .244 with 15 homers in 106 games while playing six positions in addition to serving as a designated hitter.

Phillips, who lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, continued to play baseball because he liked the game, playing for the Yuma Scorpions in the independent North American League before the team folded in 2012.

Last summer he played a few games for the independent Pittsburg Diamonds, but he struggled and the team dropped him after a few games.

Virgil Jester made it from North to big leagues

By Irv Moss
The Denver Post
February 16, 2016 08:08:22 PM MST

The Virgil Jester chapter in Denver's baseball history has closed.

Randy Jester, Virgil's son, announced Tuesday that his dad died of pneumonia early Monday morning in a care center. Virgil Jester, 88, came out of Denver North High School and became a fixture in Denver baseball. Randy Jester said there will be no services.

During his career, Virgil Jester played three seasons with the Denver Bears and played in the major leagues with the Braves, first in Boston and then Milwaukee. He started as an infielder but was quickly moved to the pitching mound because his fastball reached speeds into the 90 mph range.

Jester signed a contract with the Boston Braves in 1947 for $2,500. As he looked back on his career a few years ago, he said he was born 55 years too soon, missing the big salaries that came to major-league baseball.

Jester pitched in the old Denver Post tournament at Merchants Park on South Broadway. He once pitched against Hall of Famer Satchel Paige.

Jester compiled a major-league record of 3-5 in 21 games with a 3.84 ERA.

Jester retired from baseball after the 1959 season. He was back with the Bears for his final year.

"That was the end of it," Jester said of his baseball career. "I got tired of it. I enjoyed baseball for a while, but it was time to get out of it and go on with my life."

Nickname Hall of Famer Walt 'No-Neck' Williams dies at 72

By Scott Ridge
The Sporting News
January 27, 2016 4:04pm EST

Walt Williams, a former outfielder for the White Sox in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, died Saturday at the age of 72.

Although a solid .270 hitter in 10-year career, Williams will be best known for one of baseball's all-time great nicknames — “No-Neck.”

Walt “No-Neck” Williams was just 5-6, 165 pounds during his playing days. He played the last three years of his career with the Indians and Yankees before retiring in 1975.

Williams played in an era when funky nicknames were the norm. Catfish Hunter, Blue Moon Odom and Goose Gossage were among Williams’ many colorful contemporaries.

Williams’ best season was 1969 when he finished sixth in the AL in batting (.304 in 507 ABs)

Williams was living in Abilene, Texas, at the time of his death. Services will be Saturday in Brownwood, Texas.

He finished his career with 33 homers and 173 RBIs. He started with the Astros in 1964 but had only 10 at-bats in the National League before moving to Chicago of the American League.

Clyde Mashore, former major league player and Clayton Valley star, dies

Bay Area News Group
January 26, 2016 08:02:17 PM PST

Clyde Mashore, who spent five seasons in the majors with the Cincinnati Reds and Montreal Expos, has died. He was 70.

Mashore, who appeared in 241 major league games, died Sunday at his home in Brentwood.

A three-sport star at Clayton Valley High, Mashore joined the Reds in 1964 as a free agent. He played in two games for the Reds in 1969, then was traded to Montreal midway through the 1970 season for outfielder Ty Cline. Mashore played all three outfields as well as second and third base. He was a .208 lifetime hitter.

His sons, Damon and Justin, are also Clayton Valley grads both working in baseball. Damon, an outfielder with the A's during the 1996-97 seasons, is the minor league hitting coordinator for the Dodgers. Justin will be a coach this season with the Texas Rangers.

Clyde Mashore's grandson is Richard Rodgers Jr., the former Cal tight end now with the Green Bay Packers.

Ron Stillwell, longtime area baseball coach, dies at 76

By Jim Carlisle
The Ventura County Star
January 26, 2016

Ron Stillwell, who as a coach helped build the baseball programs at Thousand Oaks High, Cal Lutheran and Moorpark College, and as a player captained a national champion USC team, died Monday after a battle with cancer. He was 76.

Stillwell had lived in Lake Almanor. His son Rod confirmed his father's passing in a Facebook post.

Known for his dry sense of humor and skillful coaching ability, Ron Stillwell played shortstop at USC and captained its national championship team in 1961.

A week after graduating from USC, Stillwell signed a contract with the Washington Senators, but his major league career was limited to only 14 games because of an injury.

"He was playing shortstop," former Oxnard College coach Jerry White recalled Tuesday. "He went out on a fly ball, a pop-up, and the left fielder ran into him and it was an eye injury. He never did fully recover from that well enough to continue his career."

Stillwell took a job in 1964 at Thousand Oaks High when it was still part of the Oxnard Union High School District and taught there 33 years, coaching for 25. In addition to baseball, he also coached cross country and freshman basketball at various times.

George Contreras was just beginning his coaching career just before Stillwell left to coach at Cal Lutheran. While Contreras went on to coach primarily football, he was junior varsity baseball coach in 1971 under Stillwell.

"He combined a great sense of humor with a great professional attitude at all times," Contreras said. "... I just remember that kind of an impish look he'd get on his face when he was cracking a joke or bringing a little more sunshine into your life on a daily basis."

While still teaching at Thousand Oaks High, Stillwell was baseball coach at Cal Lutheran in 1972-1978, where he had a record of 139-100-1 (.581) and was named NAIA Coach of the Year in 1976. He was hired by Bob Shoup, who was then the athletic director.

"Ron was one of those really personable people that seemed to bring out the best in his players," Shoup said from his home in San Marcos, "and we were just privileged to have him at Cal Lutheran because I think he really put the foundation of the program together that some of the (later) coaches have benefited from."

Stillwell was a walk-on coach at Moorpark College in 1985-1989, where he was 91-88 (.508).

"I don't know that you're going to find anybody that's going to say anything but that he was just a nice, nice man," said White, who coached against Stillwell at Oxnard and coached with him at clinics. The two also officiated high school basketball games together.

Stillwell was twice selected to manage a U.S. college all-star team against a Japanese team.

Ronald Roy Stillwell was born Dec. 3, 1939, in Los Angeles and graduated from Burbank-Burroughs High in 1957. He was elected to the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

"I think I'm proudest of the fact I tried to teach baseball the right way," he told The Star at his induction. "I wanted my kids to learn how to play baseball with the proper fundamentals, but I also wanted them to have fun while they did it."

Stillwell's son Kurt was the second pick of the 1983 amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds and played in the majors for nine seasons. His younger son Rod — named after former USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux — played college ball at Arkansas and advanced, like his father, to the College World Series in 1989.

Rod was drafted by the Kansas City Royals and played two season of Class A minor league ball. He and his wife Valerie both teach at Thousand Oaks High.

In addition to Kurt and Rod, Stillwell is survived by Jan, his wife of 55 years, and their oldest son Scott.

The Thousand Oaks High Alumni Association said in a Facebook post a memorial will be held in the spring in Lake Almanor.

Red Sox Hall of Famer Sullivan passes away

Two-time All-Star, subject of famed Norman Rockwell painting, was 85

By Spencer Fordin / | January 20th, 2016

Former Red Sox pitcher Frank Sullivan, a two-time All-Star during an eventful 11-season playing career, passed away Tuesday at the age of 85. Sullivan, who led Boston in ERA for four straight seasons from 1954-57, was just four days shy of his 86th birthday.

Sullivan signed with the team as an amateur in 1948, and after serving in the Army during the Korean War, made his big league debut in '53. He pushed into the team's starting rotation in '54 and was credited with a team-high 15 wins.

A native of Hollywood, Calif., Sullivan was named to the All-Star team in 1955, when he notched an 18-13 record with a 2.91 ERA. He was an All-Star again in '56 and led the Major Leagues in WHIP (1.06) in '57, and the Red Sox traded him to Philadelphia after the '60 season.

Sullivan was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2008. In addition to his accomplishments on the field, Sullivan was also one of the Red Sox players immortalized in Norman Rockwell's famed 1957 painting "The Rookie."

The Red Sox tweeted their condolences: "We're sending our thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Frank Sullivan."

Following his playing career, Sullivan lived in Hawaii for a half-century and served as a director of golf for a number of local courses. He wrote a book titled "Life is More Than 9 Innings: Memories of a Boston Red Sox Relief Pitcher," which was published in 2009, and last visited Fenway Park in '14.

Sullivan is survived by his wife Marilyn, his sons Mike and Mark, his daughter-in-law Leihina, his grandson Kapono and his granddaughters Kea, Summer and Lauren.

USD’s Kerry Dineen Dies at 63; .409 Hitter Had Brief Yankees Career

By Ken Stone
The Times Of San Diego
January 17, 2016

University of San Diego is mourning former Toreros baseball star Kerry Michael Dineen, who had a .409 college batting average and briefly played for the New York Yankees.

Dineen, an all-CIF player for Chula Vista High School, died Nov. 21, according to USD.

“Kerry Dineen was one of those special players not everyone has the privilege of coaching,” said former USD coach John “JC” Cunningham. “He loved the game and was immune to pressure.”

A first cousin of fellow former major leaguer Ken Henderson, Dineen was an All-American all three years at USD (1971-1973) and was the first Torero to make it to the major leagues — and the only one to finish above .400 as a batter.

He was inducted into USD’s Chet & Marguerite Pagni Family Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

Outfielder Dineen, a left-handed hitter and thrower, was taken by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 1973 amateur draft and debuted in pinstripes against the Boston Red Sox on June 14, 1975.

A year later, his outing of May 21, 1976, was recalled by Bill Lewers in his book “Six Decades of Baseball: A Personal Narrative.”

“This was the night after the famous brawl when Carlton Fisk duked it out with Thurman Munson and Bill Lee suffered a serious arm injury,” Lewers wrote. “The game I saw was an exciting game in its own right. It was finally won by the Yankees in the bottom of the 12th on an RBI single by rookie outfielder Kerry Dineen.

“It was the first RBI of his major-league career and would represent 50 percent of his final career total.”

His last major-league year was 1978 with the Philadelphia Phillies. He played only 16 games in the major leagues, according to, but finished with a batting average of .324.

A death notice in The San Diego Union-Tribune said Kerry is survived by his wife, Jamie, and his sons Kerry Jr. and Cory, his daughter, Katie, her husband, Eddie, and grandchildren Stephen, Emilly and Mackenna.

A celebration of life will be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 23 at the American Legion Post 434, 47 Fifth Ave. in Chula Vista, where he grew up.

Former Yankees pitcher Luis Arroyo dead at 88

The New York Daily News
Associated Press
Thursday, January 14, 2016, 2:00 AM

Former All-Star pitcher Luis Arroyo has died. He was 88.

The New York Yankees say Arroyo’s daughter, Milagros, told the team Wednesday night that he had died earlier in the day in Puerto Rico. She said he had been diagnosed last month with cancer.

Arroyo helped pitch the Yankees to the 1961 World Series championship. The 5-foot-8 lefty was 15-5 with a major league-leading 29 saves that season, then earned another victory in the Series against Cincinnati.

Arroyo was an All-Star as a rookie starter with St. Louis in 1955 and again in 1961. Featuring a screwball, he was 40-32 with 45 saves and a 3.93 ERA in eight seasons with the Cardinals, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and the Yankees.

According to, Arroyo was the first Puerto Rican-born player to appear for the Yankees. He started with them in 1960 and was a key part of their AL pennant-winning staff.

Monte Irvin, Giants’ Hall of Famer, dies at 96

By John Shea
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 7:11 pm

Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, a Negro Leagues legend and one of the Giants’ first two African American players, died Monday night of natural causes at his Houston home. He was 96.

Mr. Irvin was a candidate to become baseball’s first African American player before Branch Rickey of the Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson, who debuted in 1947. Two years later, on July 8, 1949, Mr. Irvin played his first Giants game, along with Hank Thompson.

“Monte helped me so much when I came up,” Willie Mays said of his mentor in a phone interview. “He made me aware of a lot of things. He talked to me about life and baseball. I’m shocked.”

Mays last saw Mr. Irvin at the White House in June when President Obama honored the Giants for winning the 2014 World Series. In May, when the Giants were playing a series in Houston, team executives visited with Mr. Irvin to present him a World Series ring and invite him to Washington.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Mr. Irvin said after receiving the ring. “Baseball has been my life since I was 8 years old.”

Mr. Irvin grew up in New Jersey. He excelled in multiple sports in high school and college, and rose to prominence in the Negro Leagues with the Newark Eagles. The long-segregated major leagues denied Mr. Irvin during much of his prime; he joined the Giants at 30.

Mr. Irvin made an immediate impact with the Giants and was instrumental in the great pennant run of 1951 when they overcame the Dodgers’ 13½-game lead. He batted .312 with 24 homers and a league-high 121 RBIs.

Mays, Thompson and Mr. Irvin formed the majors’ first all-black outfield.

The Giants retired his No. 20 in 2010.

“Monte was a true gentleman whose exceptional baseball talent was only surpassed by his character and kindness,” Giants CEO Larry Baer said. “He was a great ambassador for the game throughout his playing career and beyond.”

As a premier ballplayer of high standards and character, Mr. Irvin was hailed by many of his Negro Leagues peers as the perfect candidate to break baseball’s color line. He was on Rickey’s short list, along with Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, Larry Doby and Robinson, but was not in top baseball shape after serving in the Army during World War II.

Mr. Irvin wanted to hone his skills before pursuing the majors. He was discharged Sept. 1, 1945, and Rickey signed Robinson seven weeks later, Oct. 23. Also, Mr. Irvin’s Negro Leagues team wanted compensation for losing the five-tool player, and Rickey was reluctant to pay.

“It could’ve been (me), but I don’t think about that,” Mr. Irvin told The Chronicle in 2010. “I think about Jackie getting a chance, setting a high standard and making it possible for the rest of us to come along.”

Mr. Irvin played seven seasons for the Giants, including with the 1954 team that swept Cleveland in the World Series, and retired after playing the 1956 season for the Chicago Cubs. He worked as a New York Mets scout and assistant public-relations director for Major League Baseball, the first black man appointed to an MLB executive position, and later was a special assistant in the commissioner’s office.

“The reason we had an all-black outfield in ’51 is Don Mueller got hurt, so Hank Thompson was a legitimate replacement,” Irvin said in a Chronicle interview. “So what? People talk about, ‘You’re the first to do this. You’re the first to do that.’ Don’t dwell on race all the time.

“Everyone says we have our first African American president. Has there ever been a Jewish president? An Italian president? They don’t say a damn thing about that. You think we’re still fighting the Civil War or something. If you want to mention it in passing, OK. But don’t dwell on it.

“But again, I want to pay tribute to Jackie for what he did. With Mays and (Hank) Aaron and Frank Robinson and Bob Gibson, it probably would’ve happened anyway in time, but he made it easier — and that much quicker for us by succeeding. He became a drawing card, and I applaud him for all of that.”

Mays recalled a liquor store he and Mr. Irvin opened in Brooklyn, but the partnership was short-lived.

Giants manager Leo Durocher “made me get out of it. He said, ‘You can’t have a liquor store in Brooklyn,’” said Mays, citing a Giants-run business in the Dodgers’ territory.

Mays credited Mr. Irvin, his onetime roommate, for helping to create openings for him with the Birmingham Black Barons (Mays’ Negro Leagues team) in 1948 and Triple-A Minneapolis in 1951, as well as with the Giants.

“He told people about me, so by the time I got there, people knew who I was,” Mays said. “He taught me a lot of things about the majors when I came up in ’51. He lived in Orange, N.J., right in front of a park, and we’d walk through the park talking. I was a young man. He taught me about spring training, about traveling, where to go, how to be treated, how to treat others.

“It was a wonderful learning experience.”

Alton Leo Brown

Published in The Virginian Pilot on Jan. 12, 2016

Virginia Beach - Alton Leo "Deacon" Brown, 90, passed away peacefully at home on January 10, 2016, surrounded by his loved ones.

Al was born in Norfolk to the late Herbert and Naomi Ward Brown. He was preceded in death by one son, Thomas Steven Brown; his sisters, Dorothy Marker, Malvine Hudgins and Ruby Flowers; and his brothers Elliott "Zeke" Brown, Sr. and Tommy Brown.

Al joined the U.S. Army (1944-46) and served in the European theater, primarily in Italy and Germany. It was during his time in the service that he played baseball for the first time. When he returned home he pitched in local city leagues until 1948, when he began his professional baseball career as a pitcher for the Roanoke Rapids Jays. While with the Jays, Al was voted the Coastal Plains League MVP in 1950.

Al made his Major League debut in 1951, pitching for the Washington Senators. In his first game as a Senator, he walked Joe DiMaggio and held the Yankees scoreless, allowing just two hits in his two-inning debut. He pitched six more games with the Senators before returning to the minors with the Chattanooga Lookouts. Al would go on to pitch several more seasons, having stints with the Richmond Colts, Norfolk Tars, and York White Roses. It was with the White Roses where he befriended a talented young kid named Brooks Robinson, who would remain a lifelong friend.

After retiring from baseball in 1956, Al returned to work as a longshoreman in Norfolk. He retired from ILA Local 1624 and Southern Stevedoring in 1980. Al was also an avid golfer, obtaining a 3 handicap, and was a member of Norfolk Moose Lodge #39, VFW Post 4809, and the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 67 years, Shirley Biggs Brown; his daughters, Leslie Fournier (Mike), Kay Brown (Robert Read) and Kelly Howard; his son, Alton Matthew Brown; four grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

At Al's request, there will be no service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Kempsville Volunteer Rescue Squad at P.O. Box 62345, Virginia Beach, VA 23466. Cremation Society of Virginia is handling the arrangements.

Lance G. Rautzhan
January 10, 2016

Lance G. Rautzhan, 63, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., passed from this life into eternal life Saturday at home with his wife, Crystal, and daughter, Jaime, by his side.

Born in Pottsville, Aug. 20, 1952, Lance was a son of Martha Sterner and the late William Rautzhan Sr.

In addition to his father, Lance was preceded in death by his brother, William Rautzhan Jr.

Lance was a member of the Blue Mountain High School, Class of 1970; after leaving high school, he was drafted in the third round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lance pitched in the 1977 and 1978 World Series. While playing baseball, Lance also served in the Coast Guard Reserves.

After his baseball career, Lance owned and operated Rautzhan’s Crossroads Hotel, Adamsdale.

Due to his avid love of golf and warm weather, he and Crystal relocated to Myrtle Beach in 2003. Lance last worked for Prestige Homes, Myrtle Beach.

Lance was a proud member of the Blue Mountain High School Sports Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Allen-Rogowicz Chapter Sports Hall of Fame and, in November 2014, surrounded by family and friends, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Lance was by far the definition of a great husband, father and friend as evidenced by the many people that supported him during his eight-year battle with cancer. He celebrated life daily and will never be forgotten.

In addition to his best friend and loving wife of 22 years, Crystal K. Rautzhan, Lance is survived by two dedicated and loving children, his son, Lance W. Rautzhan, husband of Megan, and his daughter, Jaime Rautzhan Clemas, wife of Joseph; brothers, Brian Rautzhan, husband of Terry, Gregory Rautzhan, husband of Denise; sister-in-law, Kendal, wife of the late William Rautzhan Jr.; two grandsons, whom he absolutely adored, Ryan and Landon Clemas; nieces, nephews and many wonderful friends.

Condolences may be sent to wife, Crystal, at 2472 Covington Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29579 and/or his son, Lance, and daughter, Jaime, at 73 W. Second Mountain Road, Pottsville, PA 17901. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.

Services Scheduled For Long Time Culver Resident and Chicago White Sox Star

The Culver City Observer
January 7, 2016

Longtime Culver City resident James (Jim) McAnany died on December 16 at the age of 79.

A memorial mass is scheduled for Saturday, January 9 at 11 am at St. Peter Cleaver Catholic Church, 2380 Stow St. in Simi Valley.

McAnany lived in Culver City for more than 30 years and was active in local civic and church organizations. He was an active member of St. Augustine church in Culver City for many years.

A devoted Grandfather. he moved to Simi Valley to be closer to his Grandchildren.

He owned and operated Norman Eck Insurance for many years then joined his son Jimmy McAnany at Neilson/McAnany Insurance in Simi Valley which is owned by his son.

McAnany was active with youth sports with the Babe Ruth Little League and hosting families for the tournaments. He supported LMU and Loyola High School booster clubs along with supporting sports programs at Cal State Northridge.

Mel Marmer, writing for Society for American Baseball Research, appreciates McAnany's baseball talent.

After playing in the minor league recalled Jim McAnany, who was batting .315 at Indianapolis, in hope of providing an offensive spark. Writes Marmer..

"Mac" did an outstanding job – within three weeks, he was batting .382, with 14 RBI in 15 games. Jim was a complete player: in addition to his timely hitting, he ran well, and racked up six outfield assists.

In his book, '59 Summer of the Sox, author Bob Vanderberg quotes New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel addressing the White Sox beat reporters about McAnany after a game: "They've been a real ballclub since that McSweeney come up.

" First time I see him, he throws one of my men out at the plate in Chicago. He makes catches, he runs, he hits good. You ain't had a bit of trouble in right field since he got there. Before that, you had nothing else but trouble."

Jim McAnany's baseball career ended prematurely because of nagging injuries. Jim had few regrets, however; he considered himself fortunate to do what he loved best: play Major League Baseball, and to have earned a World Series ring in the process. "Mac" has enjoyed a "good life" after baseball.

James McAnany was born September 4 1936, in Los Angeles and grew up in the city's Westside district. His father, Clifford, was a sales manager for Picksweet/ Swanson Frozen Foods and his mother, Stella, nee Pociask, a housewife. There were four children – two boys and two girls.

He and his brother first played baseball in nearby Rancho Park. At Loyola High School Jim played the outfield and the team became the California Interscholastic Federation champion

He was also a halfback on the football team. As he grew up Jim followed the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League on the radio. The first professional baseball game he saw was between the Angels and the Hollywood Stars.

Jim attended USC for two years, playing the outfield before leaving during his sophomore year. He was signed by White Sox scouts Hollis Thurston and Doc Bennett, the same pair who signed Johnny Callison a year later.

McAnany was called up to Chicago at the end of the 1958 season and made his major-league debut in Kansas City's Municipal Stadium on September 19, appearing as a pinch hitter for Early Wynn. He struck out swinging against Ralph Terry.

He started three games in right field in 1958. He finished the year with a batting average of .000, having made outs in each of his 13 at-bats. Five of the outs were strikeouts. It was a disappointing finish to the year.

McAnany began 1959 in Indianapolis and found a lot more success when the White Sox called him up late in June. He recalled, "I was on a plane to Denver. They notified me to say I was going to Chicago. I got to Chicago and took a cab to Comiskey Park. I got there in the third inning of a Yankee game. The next day, I was in the starting lineup!"

That day, Sunday, June 28, Lopez sat left-handed batter Harry Simpson, who had gotten two hits off right-hander Bob Turley the day before, and started McAnany in right field against lefty Whitey Ford. McAnany responded with the first Sox hit of the game, a single. He hit safely in his first four starts, all of them games in which the opposing team started left-handers.

McAnany's hot streak continued well into July. One example: he had only three triples in his career, but two of them came on the same day, July 12, 1959, one in each game of a doubleheader against Kansas City. Both triples came with the bases loaded. Six of his 27 career RBIs came on that one day.

On July 17, McAnany "returned the favor" to Ralph Terry, who had struck him out in his first major-league at-bat in '58, by breaking up Terry's no-hit bid in the ninth inning with a line single into center field. The White Sox went on to defeat the Yankees, 2-0, before their largest road crowd of the season, 42,168. It was an important win, putting Chicago ahead of Cleveland by a game and 6½ up on the Yankees.

McAnany wound up starting a team-high 58 games in right field for the White Sox in 1959. He also started two games in left field, and played three innings in center field. He accumulated 210 at-bats with a .276 batting average, driving in 27 runs and doing his part to help Chicago reach the World Series.

After the 1959 fall classic, in which McAnany walked once and made five outs in six plate appearances for another .000 batting average, he entered the Army Reserve and completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. In February, while stationed there, he was able to get leave long enough to come home for a weekend and marry his sweetheart, Rosemary.

Back at Fort Leonard Wood, working in the snow and 10-degree temperatures, he injured his shoulder. As spring approached, Jim tried to work out to prepare for spring training. The shoulder problem recurred and began to nag him. It eventually led to his retirement from baseball.

McAnany recalled: "I was released from duty late and was late getting to spring training in 1960. It was a big disappointment coming off a World Series 'high.' Then, in 1961, I was recalled to active duty because of the Berlin Crisis and spent most of the year at Fort Lewis, Washington.

"It was a big disruption to my baseball career. But I have no regrets; I felt that it was my duty to serve my country. I just wish that it had not played such a large part in ending my baseball career prematurely."

On his hitting: "I had difficulty hitting fastballs and curves, especially those thrown by Sandy Koufax. Fortunately, no pitcher seemed to have had my number; I didn't strike out that much (38 whiffs in 241 big-league at-bats). I'm glad Early Wynn was on our side; I'd have hated to hit against him in a game. Ryne Duren was a tough pitcher – we thought that he was mean-spirited. In retrospect, he was probably using his control problems – lack of it – to intimidate us.

Jim and Rosemary'son, Jim (James Emmot), played in the College World Series for Loyola Marymount University and was drafted by the Angels. He played 271 minor-league games before joining his father full time in the insurance business.

Daughter Michele, a teacher, played baseball for Phil Niekro's Colorado Silver Bullets. Jim and Rosemary live near their children and five grandchildren.

Jay Ritchie Sr.

Published in Salisbury Post from Jan. 6 to Jan. 7, 2016

Jay Seay Ritchie Sr., 80, of Rockwell, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center in Salisbury. He was born on Nov. 20, 1935, to the late Gilbert and Ila Brown Ritchie in Rowan County. He was a 1955 graduate of Granite Quarry High School.

Jay played professional baseball and in later years worked as a car salesman for Ben Mynatt Nissan. He was a member of Shiloh Reformed Church; the Major League Baseball Players Association; a faithful member of the Saleeby Fisher YMCA Coffee Crew; and Rowan County Sports Hall of Fame.

Jay was a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves. He played winter baseball in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela and remained an avid baseball fan throughout his life. Jay was an avid Duke fan and enjoyed watching sports. He enjoyed traveling with his wife Shelby.

Jay is survived by his wife of more than 59 years, Shelby Jean Burwell Ritchie, who he married Dec. 22, 1956; two daughters, Cindi Stevens and husband Bobby of Salisbury, Luann Fesperman and husband Gary of Salisbury; son Jay Seay Ritchie Jr. of Rockwell; two sisters, Mary Sherrill and Lottie Simpson; brother Herman Ritchie; four granddaughters, Brittin S. Cox and husband Dustin of Asheville, Adrian S. Staton and husband Matt of Rockwell, Mikel Ann F. Mason and husband Chris of Weddington and Whitley Stevens and fiance Ryne Jordan of Salisbury; two grandsons, Ritchie Fesperman and girlfriend Elinor Hurt of Durham and Jase Ritchie of Salisbury; two great-granddaughters, Kenzie and Camryn; and three great-grandsons, Eli, Levi and Smith.

In addition to his parents, Jay was preceded in death by brothers George Ritchie, Hoke Ritchie and Ray Ritchie. Visitation: Visitation is Friday, Jan. 8 from 1-3 p.m. at the Shiloh Reformed Church Fireplace Lobby. Service: Funeral services will be held Friday, Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. at Shiloh Reformed Church of Faith, with Rev. Richard Myers officiating. Burial will follow in the Shiloh Reformed Church Cemetery.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials in memory of Jay may be made to Shiloh Reformed Church, P.O. Box 308, Faith, NC 28041.

Powles-Staton Funeral Home of Rockwell, honored provider of Veterans Funeral Care, is assisting the family of Jay Ritchie.

Former Cardinals manager Vern Rapp dies

By Ben Frederickson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 01, 2016 1:00 am

New St. Louis Cardinals Manager Vern Rapp, left and Cardinals president August A. Busch Jr., talk to reporters at Rapp’s first meeting with the media in St. Louis, Missouri on Oct. 12, 1976. Rapp announced that veteran outfielder Lou Brock will be a player coach next season, working on outfielding and base running. (AP Photo)
Enlarge Photo

Vern Rapp, the former Cardinals manager whose disciplinary ways led to a clean-shaven Al Hrabosky, died of natural causes Thursday in Broomfield, Colo. He was 87.

Rapp, who was born in St. Louis in May 1928 and attended Cleveland High School, signed his first playing contract with the Cardinals in 1945. His $100-per-month deal never turned into playing time for the Redbirds but did start a winding path that led to him managing the club.

A catcher who paused his career to serve in the Korean War in 1951 and 1952, Rapp didn’t make it beyond the Class AAA level as a player. But the two decades of playing and managing in the minors led to a major-league return to his hometown. The Cardinals hired him as Red Schoendienst’s replacement before the 1977 season.

Rapp, then 49, steered the team to an 83-79 record and a third-place finish that marked an 11-game improvement from 1976. But the hard-nosed managerial tactics he found success with in the minors didn’t always mesh with his players in the majors.

“With Vern, it was such a big transition,” former Cardinals pitcher Bob Forsch once told the Post-Dispatch. Forsch died in 2011. “From laid-back Red to Vern. Vern was more military, where he’d say, ‘I’ll even tell you how to dress.’ He stood (coach) Sonny Ruberto on a trunk in spring training and said, ‘This is how to wear your uniforms.’”

Long hair wasn’t an option. Faces had to be shaved. Jackets and ties on the road. No blue jeans.

Tension entered the clubhouse. An argument with star catcher Ted Simmons went public, among other incidents. Rapp was fired after the Cardinals went 6-11 to begin the 1978 season.

The strict baseball man had a softer side, though. He is survived by his wife, Audrey, four daughters, a brother, 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

“He was a very devoted husband and father,” said Beth Ackerson, a daughter. “Family, that was his No. 1 game. We would go to spring training, and we would all travel to wherever he was in the summer. We would make a home there. That was really important to him.”

Rapp’s second stint as a major-league manager came with Cincinnati in 1984. The Reds started 51-70 before he was replaced by player-manager Pete Rose. Rapp then retired to Colorado, where he found a new hobby — fly-fishing.

Rapp’s most memorable moment, at least in the eyes of Cardinal Nation, came when he clashed with Hrabosky, nicknamed the “The Mad Hungarian”, over the relief pitcher’s beloved Fu Manchu. Hrabosky parted with the mustache, but later said he felt like a soldier without his rifle. Time has since healed the shaving wounds.

“He’s part of the baseball family,” said Hrabosky, now a commentator for Fox Sports Midwest. “How rare to be a manager at the major-league level and he was a successful coach, a teacher and everything else. He just had a way about himself that kind of rubbed some people wrong. Our personalities, they clashed. But I had no ill will against the man, and there have been many times I’ve thought about him, and wondered how he was doing.”

Frank Malzone, Star Fielder for Boston Red Sox, Dies at 85

By Bruce Weberdec
The New York Times
December 30 2015

Frank Malzone, a six-time All-Star third baseman whose steady presence in the Boston lineup tied together two of the city’s baseball eras, linking Ted Williams’s Red Sox with Carl Yastrzemski’s, died on Tuesday at his home in Needham, Mass. He was 85.

The Red Sox announced his death.

Malzone played with the Red Sox from 1955 to 1965, not a period of distinction for the franchise — the team never finished higher than third — even though it was led by two future Hall of Fame outfielders: Williams, who retired in 1960, not having played in a World Series since 1946, and Yastrzemski, who arrived in 1961 and finally led the team to a pennant in 1967. As one Boston hero passed the torch to the other, Malzone was a stalwart supporting player for both.

He was remarkably durable, playing in more than 150 games in seven consecutive seasons, including 475 games in a row. In the 1959 season, he played 42 more games at third than anyone else in the American League, handling so many more chances that he led the league in both errors and fielding percentage.

As a hitter, Malzone swung a solid if not spectacular right-handed bat. His career average was .274, but he batted .280 or better in five of his first seven full seasons, 1957 to 1963, and knocked in more than 90 runs three times, including 103 in 1957.

He made the All-Star team in each of his first four full seasons. In the second of two All-Star Games in 1959 (from 1959 to 1962 there were two All-Star Games annually), he hit a home run off the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Don Drysdale, a future Hall of Famer, and in his last All-Star appearance, in 1963, he batted cleanup for the American League.

Early in his career, Malzone was perhaps the best defensive third baseman in baseball. He won a Gold Glove in 1957, when that annual award made its debut and was given to just one player at each position in the big leagues. From the next year on, a Gold Glove has been given to the best fielder at each position in each league; Malzone won the American League award in 1958 and 1959, and if Brooks Robinson — who won the next 16 in a row while playing for the Baltimore Orioles — had not come along, he might have picked up a few more.

“We’re not only happy with Malzone; we’re practically hysterical about him,” Mike Higgins, a former Red Sox third baseman who managed the team from 1955 to 1962 and was known as Pinky, told The Saturday Evening Post in 1957. “I couldn’t carry his glove. Neither could anyone else I can remember. He’s the best third baseman I’ve ever seen.”

No other Red Sox third baseman has won a Gold Glove. No Red Sox third baseman has hit more home runs than the 131 Malzone hit with the team or has had more than his 716 runs batted in.

At the end of his career, Malzone played one season as a reserve for the California Angels.

Frank James Malzone was born in the Bronx on Feb. 28, 1930, and grew up a Yankees fan. His father was an Italian immigrant who worked for the New York City water department.

In a 2009 interview cited on, Malzone recalled that he learned to play baseball by watching an older brother and sister play on a sandlot team.

“She handled herself well,” he said of his sister Mary. “Line-drive-type hitter. No power.”

Malzone played baseball at Samuel Gompers high school and began his professional career not long after his 18th birthday with a Red Sox minor league affiliate in Milford, Del. He lost most of the 1950 season to an ankle injury and was in the Army in 1952 and 1953.

He made his major league debut in September 1955 and had 115 plate appearances for the Sox in 1956 before becoming the starting third baseman the next year. Williams was finishing out his career, and by the time he retired after the 1960 season, Malzone was a team leader.

“When I first came to the big leagues in 1961, Frank was the guy who took me under his wing,” Yastrzemski said in a statement provided by the Red Sox. “I struggled when I first came up, and he took care of me and stayed with me. He was a real class guy, a very caring guy, and I owe him a lot.”

After his retirement as a player, Malzone worked for the Red Sox as a scout and instructor. He married Amy Gennerino, whom he met in 1949 while playing in Oneonta, N.Y, in 1951. She died in 2006. The Red Sox said Malzone was survived by four sons, Frank, Paul, John and Jim; a daughter, Anne O’Neill; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Edwin Mayer

Published in the San Francisco Chronicle on December 31, 2016

While surrounded by his loving family, native San Franciscan Edwin Mayer passed away peacefully.

Ed enjoyed a 23 year teaching career in the Laguna Salada School District in Pacifica. Among Ed's many accomplishments was
his Major League Baseball career with the Chicago Cubs. Ed had the honor to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field in June 2014.

Ed is survived by Younga Hennessey, his partner of 21 years, three children Lynne Foster-Phillips, Laura Gardner, David Mayer,
eight grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, Ms. Hennessey's daughter Ruth Hennessey and her three children.

Ed was predeceased by his wife Carol Carlson and his wife Harriet Adelson.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Doctors Without Borders.

Former Mariners outfielder and broadcaster Dave Henderson passes away at age 57

By Ryan Divish
Seattle Times staff reporter
December 27, 2015 at 10:01 am PST

Those who met him didn’t call him Dave, David or Mr. Henderson. He preferred “Hendu.” That was the name that would elicit the easy, gap-toothed smile.

And now Dave Henderson is gone at the age of 57.

Henderson died at Harborview Hospital early Sunday morning after suffering a massive heart attack. Henderson had been dealing with kidney issues for the past few years and received a kidney transplant a month ago.

The Mariners drafted Henderson with the 26th pick in 1977 draft out of Dos Palos (Calif.) High School, where he was a standout baseball and football player. He was the first draft pick for Seattle’s Major League Baseball expansion franchise.

It was the start of productive professional career. He would go on to play 14 years in the big leagues with the Mariners, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s and Kansas City Royals, appearing in 1,538 games and hitting .258 with 197 homers and 708 runs batted in. He was named to the 1991 American League All-Star team as a member of the A’s. His best years came in Oakland. From 1988 to 1991, Henderson hit .275 with a .795 on-base plus slugging percentage with 123 doubles, 84 homers and 322 RBI.

“On behalf of the Seattle Mariners, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to Chase and Trent and Nancy and to Dave’s many friends,” Mariners team president Kevin Mather said in a statement. “He was a devoted father to his two sons and always willing to help someone in need.

“Dave was one of the most popular Mariners in our history, but Dave was also one of the most popular player’s in Red Sox and A’s history. He had a special ability to connect with people, both inside the game and in the communities in which he lived. I never saw him at the ballpark, or on the golf course, without a big smile on his face.”

What people remember most about Henderson were his postseason heroics, particularly Game 5 of the 1986 AL Championship Series. Henderson and the Red Sox were facing elimination against the California Angels, down three games to one in Anaheim. In the ninth inning, with Boston down a run and two outs, Henderson hit a two-run homer off of Angels closer Donnie Moore on a 2-2 count. The Angels came back and tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, but Henderson drove home the winning run in the top of the 11th for a 7-6 win. The Red Sox would go on to win the next two games and the series.

Henderson played in a total of 36 postseason games in his career, hitting .298 with a .946 on base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS), 10 doubles, a triple, seven homers and 20 RBI. He won a World Series with the A’s in 1989.

Blessed with a smooth voice and an easy smile, Henderson was never afraid of the television cameras or a reporter’s notebook. He loved to talk about baseball, his exploits and anything that he found entertaining. That carried over into his post-baseball career where he served as color analyst on the Mariners’ broadcasts from 1997 to 2006 alongside Dave Niehaus.

Henderson was very visible in the Puget Sound as an ambassador for baseball, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to support research into Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects his son, Chase. He was also one of the founders of Rick’s Toys For Kids, a charity which provides dozens of agencies and thousands of children who otherwise would not receive a gift Christmas presents each year with broadcaster Rick Rizzs.

Henderson is survived by his sons, Chase and Trent; his wife, Nancy’ and first wife, Loni.

Jim O'Toole, Reds Hall of Famer, passes away at 78

Dave Clark
December 27, 2015 1:17 a.m. EST

Jim O'Toole, a Reds Hall of Fame pitcher and fan favorite who helped the Reds to an appearance in the 1961 World Series, passed away at 78, according to the team.

Fellow Reds Hall of Famer Johnny Bench offered the following response: "I know people have admired a lot of former Reds. Joe Nuxhall is at the top of the list, but Jim O'Toole was to me the epitome of class any player has ever had! He always wore a smile and was represented by his family in the highest of esteem. He loved his Reds and the time he spent in the organization. He came to all the functions and brightened the room. For those that knew him, no words are needed. For those that didn't, no words are adequate. RIP. MY LOVE TO THE FAMILY"

O'Toole spent eight of his nine big-league seasons with the Reds after debuting with the team at age 21 in 1958. He went 19-9 with a 3.10 ERA in 1961 - when the Reds advanced to the World Series and lost to the Yankees - and finished 10th in National League MVP voting.

He was 94-81 with a 3.59 ERA in 255 games for Cincinnati.

O'Toole was an All-Star in 1963. In fact, he started the 1963 All-Star Game for the National League, on a roster that featured Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn. He allowed one earned run in two innings of work.

He finished 1964 with a career-best 2.66 ERA (with a 17-7 record) in 30 starts.

He was traded to the White Sox in 1967, and appeared in 15 games for Chicago before retiring.

He appeared often and signed autographs with Reds alumni at Redsfest and many other events for the team and Reds Hall of Fame.

George Burpo

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on December 24, 2015

George Burpo passed peacefully into Gods hands on December 20, 2015. Husband of his beloved deceased wife, Nancy, for 56 years; father of son, Rob of Albuquerque, New Mexico; granddaughter of Jennifer and grandson, Greg also of Albuquerque.

George was born June 19, 1922 in Jenkins, Kentucky. He attended grade school in Pikeville, KY and high school in Jenkins where he played on the football team and was also in the school band.

George began a career of professional baseball while still in high school by signing his first contract with the Cincinnati Reds organization in 1939. He was sent to Muskogee, Oklahoma that year. Other teams he played for were the Tucson Cowboys, where he pitched the first no hit game at High Corbett field in 1941, the Columbia, So. Carolina Reds, the Birmingham, Alabama Barons, the Syracuse Chiefs in addition to half a season with the parent Cincinnati Redleg club in 1946.

His baseball career was interrupted by serving three years in the United States Navy in the second World War and received an honorable discharge in December, 1945. He recently was honored with the World War 11 Medallion.

After retiring from baseball because of injuries, he spent five years with the J.C. Penny company before finishing a 32 year career with the world's largest manufacturer of business forms (MOORE), beginning in sales, supervision, and as District Manager in Tucson, Phoenix, Albuquerque and Tucson when he retired in 1985.

George and wife, Nancy, served as Junior High advisors at Valley Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, where George also served as an elder in that church. While in Albuquerque, was active in church work at Immanuel Presbyterian Church including three years as an elder; George and Nancy joined the Desert Skies United Methodist Church in 1998.

George has been a member of Rotary clubs in Phoenix, Albuquerque and Tucson, serving as club president in the Catalina (Tucson) Rotary club in 1982-83. He loved all sports, especially baseball, football and basketball at the University of Arizona where he was a member of the Wildcat Club for many years.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Desert Skies United Methodist Church or the Catalina (Tucson) Rotary Foundation through Kathy Ramert, Club Treasurer at 7314 N. Casablanca Drive, Tucson, Arizona 85704.

Burial Services will be private.

Memorial Service will be conducted by Rev. Ed Denham at Desert Skies United Methodist Church at 3255 North Houghton Road on.

Arrangements by East Lawn Palms Mortuary, 5801 East Grant Road.

Hector Harold "Skinny" Brown
December 19th, 2015

Greensboro: Mr. Hector Harold "Skinny" Brown, 91, died Thursday, December 17, 2015 at Moses Cone memorial Hospital. A Memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, December 20, 2015 at Forbis and Dick, N. Elm Street Chapel, with Rev. Jim Epps officiating. Interment will be private.

Mr. Brown was born on December 11, 1924 in Greensboro, son of the late William Hamilton and Pearlie Chasen Brown. A Greensboro Senor High School graduate, he attended UNC-Chapel Hill before enlisting in the war. "Skinny" played in the major leagues for 14 years and was known for his knuckleball and control. He was inducted in to the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

He was an active member of Presbyterian Church of Covenant for many years and a 32nd degree Mason. An avid golfer, he was a member of Starmount Country Club and part owner of McBane-Brown Heating and Air Conditioning. He was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran of World War II. He was well-loved and respected by all who knew him, but most of all, he was proud of his family.

Survivors include his wife, Maxine Joyce Brown; two daughters, Suzanne White and husband Chuck and Lisa Moore and husband Bill all of Greensboro; four grandchildren, Ryan White, Blair White, Emily Tyler and Carrie Guthrie; two great-grandchildren, Ethan White and Olivia Ryan White.In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by four brothers and three sisters. The family will receive friends following the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Greensboro Urban Ministries, 305 W. Gate City Blvd, Greensboro, NC 27406.

Evelio Hernandez, 84, Cuban pitcher for the Washington Senators
December 19, 2015 5:58 PM MST

Evelio Hernandez, a Cuban-born pitcher for the Washington Senators in the 1950s, passed away Friday December 18, 2015 at his home in Miami, Florida, just days shy of his 85th birthday. The reporting of his death was confirmed by former Almendares teammate Cholly Naranjo.

Born December 24, 1930 in Guanabacoa, Cuba, the right-handed pitcher was signed into the Washington Senators organization in 1954 by the legendary scout Joe Cambria. It was during that winter that Hernandez had his first taste of winter ball, pitching two games for Almendares en route to a Cuban League Championship.

Hernandez used the lesson he learned from the veterans during the 1954-55 winter ball season to amass 23 victories in 1955 for Washington’s Class C team in Hobbs, New Mexico. This earned him a promotion to Class A Charlotte in 1956. His domination on the mound continued, and after going 18-4, the Senators called him up in September. He pitched four games, earning his first major league win with a complete game 7-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on September 29, 1956.

He returned to the Senators in 1957 in a more prominent role as he made the club out of spring training. He pitched in 14 games without a decision before being sent to the minors in June. While he would pitch professionally until 1967, he never returned to the major leagues. He finished his career in Washington with a 1-1 record and a 4.45 ERA in 18 games.

Hernandez found success in the Mexican League, pitching for Monterrey from 1959-1967. On August 10, 1966, he threw what was at the time only the 11th no-hitter in the league’s history, blanking Puebla 2-0. It was a banner season for Hernandez, who pitched in 40 games that season, starting 31 and completing 15.

After his baseball career was over, Hernandez passed on his tremendous knowledge and experience to the youth of Miami, serving as a high school baseball coach for over 20 years. As the head coach at Loyola Miami, he led the baseball team to five Class A state championships during his tenure.

Longtime Daily News sports writer Phil Pepe dead at 80

By Mark Feinsand, Bill Price
The New York Daily News
Monday, December 14, 2015, 1:05 AM

Phil Pepe, a longtime Daily News Yankee beat writer whose career covering New York sports spanned 50 years, died Sunday at the age of 80 at his home in Englewood, N.J., a family member told The News.

Pepe covered the Yankees for The News from 1968-1981 and wrote the lead game story for every World Series from 1969-81. In 1982, he succeeded Dick Young as The News’ sports columnist.

He left the paper in 1989 for WCBS radio, where he did morning sports — including his signature “Pep Talk” — for more than 15 years. He was also the director of broadcasting/radio analyst for the Class-A New Jersey Cardinals of the New York-Penn League for 12 seasons from 1994-2005.

He was the executive director of the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America for the past 21 years, having also served as the chapter’s chairman in 1975 and 1976. He attended every BBWAA awards dinner since 1962 and ran the event for more than two decades.

“He was a mentor to a lot of writers of my generation, he was a guy you could always go to,” said Jack O’Connell, the secretary treasurer of the BBWAA and a former News writer. “I worked with him at The News and he was somebody a lot of us looked up to.”

After graduating from St. John’s, Pepe joined the New York World Telegram and Sun in 1957 and became the paper’s Yankee beat writer in 1961, the same year Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record.

“There was a time, in another time in New York, when whatever had happened the day before or the night before with the Yankees didn’t become official until you picked up the Daily News and read Phil Pepe,” said columnist Mike Lupica. “Phil was more than just the Yankees across his long career at The News, and at the World Telegram & Sun before that, and with all the books he wrote about baseball. But in memory, he’s at the old Yankee Stadium still, sitting with Yogi, telling stories about Mantle and Maris, getting ready to write a game story about the Yankees of George and Billy and Reggie.”

Pepe stayed at the Telegram until it folded in 1966, and then wrote scripts for ABC radio with Howard Cosell.

He joined the Daily News in 1968 and, according to a book by baseball historian Marty Appel, Pepe wrote the lead story on every World Series game from 1969-1981, covered most of Muhammad Ali’s championship fights, was the beat writer for the Knicks during their championship years and covered the first Super Bowl and three Olympics.

In addition to his career in newspapers and radio, Pepe was a prolific author, writing close to 50 books with some of sports’ biggest names. He co-wrote Bob Gibson’s autobiography, and wrote books with Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Ken Griffey Sr., Jim Kaat, Gary Carter, Bud Harrelson, Howie Rose and Tim McCarver. His last book was in 2013 on the Yankees’ Core Four.

“He’s the best game story writer I ever worked with,” said Bob Decker, assistant sports editor at The News from 1974-1989. “Nobody could do it better than Pepe. He wouldn’t need any quotes and still turn out a great baseball story.”

Decker recalled the day Thurman Munson died and Pepe, a friend of Munson’s, had to come into the office to do a column for The News.

“He comes in, Munson and him were very good friends. He comes in all upset, sits there with his head in his hands,” said Decker. “I told him ‘write what you feel.’ He wrote a magnificent column.”

“He was a mentor to me and a giant among baseball writers who never got his true credit,” said Hall of Fame baseball writer Bill Madden, who succeeded Pepe as The News’ Yankee beat writer. “He is going to be sorely missed by the New York chapter of baseball writers.”

Pepe is survived by daughter Jayne and her husband Steve Platts; sons David, Jim and John; daughters-in-law Maria and Sherry Pepe; and five grandchildren.

Gus Gil
December 10, 2015

Tomas Gustavo Gil Guillen was born in Caracas, Venezuela April 19, 1939. Gus was a Second Baseman for the Major League Baseball. Where he played for the Cleveland Indians, Seattle Pilots and Milwaukee Brewers. In four seasons from 1967 to 1971.

In 1970 Gus help win the Caribbean Series. He hit .387 scored 4 runs and a series leading 7 RBI to help the Magallanes win the series. Which earn him a spot on the Series All Star Team.

After his playing Career he served as Manager for the Venezuelan Winter League in 1979. Gus also managed the Danville Suns in 1982. The Bluefield Orioles in 1990 and 1991.

In 1995 Gus was ask By La Raza making him 1 out of 5 invitees. He spoke on behalf of all the Hispanic in the USA on representing sports Accomplishment.

Gus was inducted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 located in Valencia,Venezuela.

He was a loving Husband,Father, Brother, Brother in Law and Uncle. A Great Mentor to Many.

He is survived by his Loving Wife Phyllis Gil of 47 years. Also Leaving behind his Son Tomas Gustavo Gil Jr. And Daughter in Law Carrie Gil.