Former Reds and White Sox hurler Jim O' Toole passed away on December 26, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio at age 78.
After a 1-game cup of coffee in September 1958, O'Toole pitched for the Reds from 1959 to 1966. He won 19 games in 1961, and was the Reds' starting pitcher in games 1 and 4 in the World Series that season. O'Toole was also the NL's starting pitcher in the 1963 All-Star game.
In 1967 he played his final big-league season, with the White Sox. He pitched 1968 in the minors, then retired after an unsuccessful tryout with the expansion Seattle Pilots in the Spring of 1969.
He was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1970.
Late-60s/early-70s 2nd baseman Gus Gil passed away on December 8, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ at age 76.
Gil was signed by the Reds in 1959, and made his major-league debut for the Indians in early 1967. He was their starting 2nd baseman for the first month or so, then returned to the minors for the 2nd half of the season.
Most of his big-league time was from 1969-71, playing for the Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers.
He also played baseball in Venezuela from 1959 to 1977, and was inducted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.
They join the 25 others shown below. Each made it by receiving the minimum 75% of the votes. (Although the sidebar poll shows that Santo received 85% and Mathews only received 71%, one voter chose to vote using the comments. He voted for Mathews and not for Santo, leaving them with 75% each.)
8 voters participated this time. Three players received less that the minimum 15% to be retained for the next ballot.
(Click the "hall of fame ballot" label below to see all past results.)
Barney Schultz - a knuckle-balling relief pitcher for the Cubs and Cardinals in the early 1960s - passed away on September 6, 2015 at age 89.
Schultz pitched in 227 games, all in relief. He appeared briefly with the Cardinals (1955) and Tigers (1959), then found steady work in the Cubs' bullpen from 1961 to mid-1963.
His final stop was the Cardinals. Acquired in mid-season 1963, he was a key member of their bullpen in 1964, as the Cardinals passed the Phillies in the season's final week to clinch the NL pennant and win the World Series. Schultz recorded a 1.64 ERA that year.
He retired after the 1965 season, and was the Cardinals' pitching coach for a decade, and then briefly with the Cubs.
Former AL 1st-baseman Norm Siebern passed away on October 30, 2015 in Naples, FL at age 82.
Siebern came up with the Yankees in 1956, and won a Gold Glove in 1958 as their left fielder. Traded to the Kansas City in the Roger Maris trade after the 1959 season, he switched to 1st base with the Athletics, and was a regular there for 4 seasons, making the All-Star game in '62 and '63.
Siebern was traded to the Orioles following the 1963 season, and was the Orioles' 1st-sacker for the next 2 years - also returning to the All-Star game in '64. Norm bounced from the Angels to the Giants to the Red Sox in his final 3 seasons, retiring midway through 1968.
I only caught the tail-end of his career, as a pinch-hitter for the Red Sox during their push to the 1967 World Series. Maybe CommishBob has some stories from Siebern's days with the Orioles.
Former Athletics' and Reds' pitcher John Tsitouris passed away on October 22, 2015 in his hometown of Monroe, NC at age 79.
Tsitouris played pro ball from 1954 to 1968, and was in the majors for at least parts of every season from 1957 to 1968 (except 1961).
After breaking in with the Tigers in 1957, he played part of '58 and '59, and all of 1960 with the Kansas City Athletics. Traded to the Reds for pitcher Joe Nuxhall, John spent the entire 1961 season in the minors, then played for the Reds from 1962-68, with most of that work coming in the 1963-65 seasons. He retired after the 1968 season.
Coincidentally, I was just reading through his SABR biography a few days ago (it may have been on the date of his death, but I don't remember).
Former Angels' and Twins' pitcher Dean Chance passed away in his hometown of Wooster, OH on October 11, 2015 at age 74.
Chance pitched for 11 seasons (1961-71), and led the AL in wins, ERA, complete games, and shutouts in 1964. He also won the the Cy Young Award that season, at age 23 the youngest winner up to that time.
A member of the 1961 expansion Angels, he threw out the first pitch in the Angels' 50th Anniversary game in 2011, and was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame in August 2015.
It's time for another 1960s Blog Hall of Fame Election.
Last year, Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn were inducted, joining the other 23 members in the Hall. Four players received less than 15% of the vote and were dropped from the ballot, leaving 10 returning candidates this time:
Former Indians' and Braves' pitcher Tom Kelley passed away on September 25, 2015 at age 71.
Kelley was a reliever for the Indians from 1964-67 (with '66 as his only full-season), then after 3 seasons in the minors, he resurfaced as a starting pitcher for the Braves from 1971-73. After 3 more seasons in the minors, he retired after the 1976 season.
He was inducted into his hometown Manchester Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.
Former Yankees' catcher and manager Yogi Berra died of natural causes on September 22, 2015 at age 90.
Berra played for the Yankees from 1947 to 1963, then managed the Yankees in 1964, and in 1984-85. A 3-time AL MVP, he won 10 World Championships as a player, and played in 14 World Series in his 18 seasons, both career records.
Yogi also was a player-coach for the Mets in 1965, as shown on his final player card above. He also managed the Mets from 1972-75, winning the pennant in 1973.
I enjoyed watching a TV show (twice!) on the MLB Network last year, with Bob Costas following Yogi around his boyhood neighborhood in St. Louis, and in New York/New Jersey.