Friday, February 26, 2021

RIP - Juan Pizarro

Juan Pizarro, who pitched for 8 teams in 18 seasons from 1957-74, passed away on February 18, 2021 at age 84.
Pizarro debuted with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957, and pitched 4 seasons for them, including appearances in the '57 and '58 World Series. 
He then pitched 6 seasons for the White Sox, and made the '63 and '64 All-Star teams. 
Pizarro played for the Pirates, Red Sox, Indians, and Athletics from 1967-69 before settling in with the Cubs from 1970-73. 
He later played for the Astros, before returning to the Pirates for his final season. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

RIP - Lew Krausse

Lew Krausse, who pitched for the Athletics, Red Sox, Brewers, and others from 1961-74, passed away on February 16th, 2021 at age 77.
Krausse broke in with the Kansas City Athletics as an 18-year-old bonus baby in 1961, pitching a complete game shutout in his major-league debut. After 2 seasons in the minors, he played parts of '64 and '65 with the A's before returning to the majors on a full-time basis in 1966. 
Krause was one of a handful of young starting pitchers for the A's in their final years in Kansas City (along with Catfish Hunter, Jim Nash, John Odom, and Chuck Dobson). 
After 4 seasons with the A's he was traded to the Red Sox, and 2 years later to the Brewers. 
Krausse returned to the A's in 1973 but spent the entire season in the minors before he was sold to the Cardinals on September 1st, so he missed out on Oakland's post-season glory years. 
After brief stops with St. Louis and Atlanta, he wrapped up his career with the A's triple-A team in 1975. 


Monday, February 22, 2021

RIP - Billy Conigliaro

Billy Conigliaro, an outfielder for the Red Sox and Brewers in the late-1960s to early-1970s, passed away on February 10, 2021 at age 73.
The younger brother of Tony Conigliaro, he played for the Red Sox from 1969 to 1971, and was their regular left fielder in 1970 (moving Carl Yastrzemski to 1st base). 
Billy was part of a 10-player trade with the Brewers after the 1971 season. That seems very 1-sided, with 6 players (George Scott, Jim Lonborg, Ken Brett, Don Pavletich, Billy C, and Joe Lahoud) all going to Milwaukee for just 3 major-leaguers (Tommy Harper, Lew Krause, Marty Pattin) and a minor-leaguer. 
After just one season on the Brewers' bench, he played one year with the Athletics before retiring. 


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

RIP - Pedro Gonzalez

Pedro Gonzalez, a 2nd baseman who played for the Yankees and Indians in the mid-1960s, passed away on January 10, 2021 at age 83. 
Gonzalez was from San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, possibly the first in a long line of major league infielders to hail from that small city.
He broke in with the Yankees in 1963, but hardly played for them except his 80 games in 1964. 
In May 1965 he was traded to the Indians. Most of his regular playing time came with Cleveland. He was their starting 2nd baseman from late-May 1965 to late-August 1966, and again in May and June 1967. 
After that, the job was given to Vern Fuller. Gonzalez kicked around in the minors from 1968-71 before playing in Mexico from 1972-74. 
My first year of collecting baseball cards was 1967. Being a Phillies fan, and with Tony Gonzalez' card in the unattainable 7th series, I often used Pedro's card as a stand-in for Tony's when I would play lineup games with my cards back then. 
From Wikipedia: 
San Pedro de Macoris is well known as the birthplace of a large number of professional baseball players. The Dominican capital of Santo Domingo has had 106 MLB players compared to San Pedro's 99, but Santo Domingo's population is more than ten times that of San Pedro. The city is often referred to as "The Cradle of Shortstops." 
Check out Wikipedia for the long list of players from San Pedro de Macoris.  

Thursday, February 4, 2021

RIP - Grant Jackson

Grant Jackson, who pitched for the Phillies, Orioles, Pirates, and others from 1965-1982, passed away on February 2, 2021 at age 78 from COVID-19. 
Jackson's first full season was in 1967, the same year I started following the Phillies and major league baseball. He was mostly a reliever, but got the occasional start whenever there were doubleheaders. 
When Chris Short was lost for the 1969 season following a back injury in mid-April, Jackson became a full-time starter, leading the team with 253 innings pitched and 180 strikeouts. His 14 wins and 3.34 ERA were both just a bit behind team leader Rick Wise. Jackson also made his only All-Star team that season. 
He was also a starter in 1970, but after his off-season trade to the Orioles, he was mostly a reliever for the rest of his career. 
Jackson saw post-season action with the Orioles ('71, '73, '74), the Yankees ('76), and the Pirates ('79), and was the Game 7 winner in the 1979 World Series.