Saturday, December 31, 2022

RIP - Fred Valentine

Fred Valentine, an outfielder for the Senators from 1964-1968, passed away on December 26, 2022 at age 87.
Valentine debuted with a dozen games for the Orioles in September 1959. He didn't return to the Orioles until the 2nd half of 1963, making 16 pinch-hitting appearances along with a half-dozen or so starts in right field. 
Sold to the Senators after the 1963 season, He spent 2 years on their bench, before finally getting extended playing time in 1966 and 1967, sharing CF with Don Lock and RF with Jim King in '66, and Hank Allen (CF) and Cap Peterson (RF) in '67. 
With the arrival of rookie Del Unser in 1968, Valentine was mired behind Peterson and Ed Stroud in the right field mix, and by June was traded back to the Orioles for pitcher Bruce Howard.
Except for 12 consecutive starts in late-June, Fred rode the bench in his final months as a big-leaguer, stuck behind not only Frank Robinson and Paul Blair, but also Curt Blefary, Dan Buford, and rookies Curt Motten and Dave May. 
After playing all of 1969 for the O's AAA team, Valentine played in Japan in 1970 before retiring.  

Thursday, December 22, 2022

RIP - Denny Doyle

Denny Doyle, a 2nd baseman for the Phillies, Angels, and Red Sox in the 1970s, passed away on December 21, 2022 at age 78.
Doyle debuted on Opening Day 1970, as half of the highly-touted keystone combo with fellow rookie Larry Bowa. 
That season, the Phillies expected to christen their new stadium (Veterans Stadium), but construction issues delayed that until 1971. Still, they unveiled new uniforms, a new manager (Frank Lucchesi), and a batch of new players (Doyle, Bowa, Tim McCarver, Joe Hoerner, Dick Selma, and Oscar Gamble, among others. 
Doyle was the Phils' regular 2nd baseman from 1970-1973, then was traded to the Angels in the off-season. He was the Halos' staring 2nd-sacker in 1974, but then rode the bench in 1975 until a mid-season trade to the Red Sox restored him to regular playing time. 
He played for the BoSox for 1 1/2 seasons, including the 1975 World Series vs. the Reds. 
After his playing career, Doyle ran a baseball school along with his 2 brothers, who were also MLB alumni.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

RIP - Curt Simmons

Curt Simmons, the Phillies left-handed ace during the 1950s, passed away on December 13, 2022 at age 93. He was the last living member of the 1950 NL Champion Phillies.
Simmons made his major-league debut with the Phillies in September 1947 (and was one of the last 2 players from the 1940s still active in 1967). 
Although the Phillies played in the 1950 World Series, Simmons missed the 1950 post-season and all of 1951 due to military service. He returned to Philly in 1952, and remained in the starting rotation through the 1958 season, making 3 All-Star teams during tht time. Curt saw limited action in 1959 due to a sore arm, and was released in May 1960. 
He found new life with the Cardinals, pitching 6 1/2 seasons for St. Louis, including 2 starts in the 1964 World Series. Simmons also played for the Cubs and Angels in his last 2 years, retiring after the 1967 season.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

RIP - Gaylord Perry


Gaylord Perry, who pitched for 22 seasons from 1962-83, passed away on December 1, 2022 at age 84.
Perry became a full-time starting pitcher in 1966, and remained in his team's rotation for the remainder of his career. 
He played his first 10 years with the Giants, in a rotation that included Juan Marichal and at times, Mike McCormick, Ray Sadecki, and Bobby Bolin, among others. 
Perry played for 7 other teams over the 2nd half of his career, including extended stops in Cleveland and Texas. 
He was a 5-time 20-game winner, and led the league in wins for 3 of those seasons. He also was a 2-time Cy Young Award winner, and led the AL in complete games twice.