In Remembrance

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association is not always made immediately aware of the deaths of former players. Please contact us if we are omitting a death since June 2004.


Hausmann, George John, 88, passed away on June 16, 2004 in Boerne, Texas. He debuted in 1944 and played three seasons for the New York Giants retiring in 1949.

Jones, Mack, 65, passed away on June 8, 2004 in Atlanta, Ga. He debuted in 1961 and played for the Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds and Montreal Expos. He retired in 1971.

Kitsos, Christopher Anestos, 76, passed away on June 7, 2004 in Mobile, Ala. He debuted in 1954 and played one season for the Chicago Cubs

Narum, Leslie Ferdinand, 63, passed away on May 19, 2004 in Clearwater, Fla. He debuted in 1963 and played for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Senators. He retired in 1967.

Coleman, Walter Gary, 72, passed away on May 14, 2004 in Wolfeboro, N.H. He debuted in 1955 and played for the New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics and Baltimore Orioles. He retired in 1960.

William Rodgers, 79, passed away on May 13, 2004 in Worcester, Mass. He debuted in 1944 and played two seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

McLeland, Wayne Gaffney, 79, passed away on May 9, 2004 in Houston, Texas. He debuted in 1951 and played two seasons for the Detroit Tigers.

Darrell Johnson, 75, passed away on May 3, 2004 in Fairfield, Calif. He managed for the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers.

Burtschy, Edward Frank, 82, passed away on May 2, 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He debuted in 1950 and played for the Philadelphia Athletics and the Kansas City Athletics. He retired in 1956.

Giebell, Floyd George, 94, passed away on April 28, 2004 in Wilkesboro, N.C. He debuted in 1939 and played three season for the Detroit Tigers retiring in 1941.

Samuel Nahem, 88, passed away on April 19, 2004 in Berkeley, Calif. He debuted in 1937 and played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Philadelphia Phillies. He retired in 1948.

Johnson, Kenneth Wandersee, 81, passed away on April 6, 2004 in Wichita, Kan. He debuted in 1947 and played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and the Detroit Tigers retiring in 1952.

Louis Berberet, 74, passed away on April 6, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nev. He debuted in 1954 and played for the New York Yankees, Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox, and Detroit Tigers. He retired in 1960.

George Bamberger, 80, passed away on April 4, 2004 in North Redington Beach, Fla. He was a manager for the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets.

Robert Cremins, 98, passed away on March 27, 2004 in Pelham, N.Y. He debuted in 1927 and played one season for the Boston Red Sox.

Gene Bearden, 83, passed away on March 18, 2004 in Alexander City, Ala. He debuted in 1947 and played for the Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns, and Chicago White Sox. He retired in 1953.

Avitus "Vedie" Himsl, 86, passed away on March 15, 2004 in Chicago Ill. He managed one season for the Chicago Cubs.

Andrew Seminick, 83, passed away on Feb. 22, 2004 in Melbourne, Fla. He debuted in 1943 and played for the Philadelphia Phillies, and Cincinnati Reds. He retired in 1957.

Charles Fox, 82, passed away on Feb. 16, 2004 in Stanford, Calif. He was a manager for the San Francisco Giants, Montreal Expos, and Chicago Cubs.

Theodore Tappe, 73, passed away on Feb. 13, 2004 in Wenatchee, Wash. He debuted in 1950 and played for the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs. He retired in 1955.

John Blatnik, 82, passed away on Jan. 21, 2004 in Lansing, Ohio. He debuted in 1948 and played three seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Lloyd Merriman, 79, passed away on Jan. 20, 2004 in Fresno, Calif. He debuted in 1949 and played for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Chicago Cubs. He retired in 1955.

Thomas Glaviano, 80, passed away on Jan. 19, 2004 in Sacramento, Calif. He debuted in 1949 and played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. He retired in 1953.

Harry Brecheen, 89, passed away on Jan. 17, 2004 in Bethany, Okla. He debuted in 1940 and played for the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns. He retired in 1953.

Hershell Freeman, 75, passed away on Jan. 17, 2004 in Orlando, Fla. He debuted in 1952 and played for the Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Redlegs, and the Chicago Cubs. He retired in 1958.

August Suhr, 97, passed away on Jan. 15, 2004 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He debuted in 1930 and played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies. He retired in 1940.

James Devlin, 81, passed away on Jan. 15, 2004 in Danville, Pa. He debuted in 1944 and played one season for the Cleveland Indians.

Mike Goliat, 78, passed away on Jan. 13, 2004 in Seven Hills, Ohio. He debuted in 1949 and played for the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Browns. He retired in 1952.

Ewald Pyle, 93, passed away on Jan. 10, 2004 in DuQuoin, Ill. He debuted in 1939 and played for the St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, New York Giants, and Boston Braves. He retired in 1945.

Frank "Tug" McGraw, 59, passed away on Jan. 5, 2004 in Nashville, Tenn. He debuted in 1965 and played for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. He retired in 1984.

Taylor Duncan, 50, passed away on Jan. 3, 2004 in Asheville, N.C. He debuted in 1977 and played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics. He retired in 1978.

Leon Wagner, 69, passed away on January 3, 2004 in Los Angeles, Calif. He debuted in 1958 and played for the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, and San Francisco Giants. He retired in 1969.

Paul Hopkins, 99, passed away on Jan. 2, 2004 in Middletown, Conn. He debuted in 1927 and played for the Washington Senators and St. Louis Browns. He retired in 1929.

Andrew Stoneham, 95, passed away on Jan. 1, 2004 in Owasso, Okla. He debuted in 1933 and played one season for the Chicago White Sox.


Baseball has lost many important contributors over the past 12 months, including two Hall of Famers, two current-day Major League players, and several Hall of Fame caliber writers and broadcasters. In tribute to their memories, we present the following list of notable baseball figures who have died during 2003:

Max West (Died on Dec. 31 in Sierra Madre, Calif.; age 87; brain cancer): During a seven-year career in the major leagues, West hit 77 home runs with 380 RBIs. In one of the highlights of his career, the left-handed hitting outfielder appeared in the 1940 All-Star Game as a substitute for injured New York Giants star Mel Ott and hit a home run against Hall of Famer Red Ruffing of the New York Yankees. West's career was later interrupted during World War II, when he served as part of a B-29 crew in the Pacific Ocean. After his playing days, which earned him a spot in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame, West owned and operated a sporting goods business with former major league star Ralph Kiner.

Ivan Calderon (Died on Dec. 27 in Loiza, Puerto Rico; age 41; shot to death): Calderon was killed while frequenting a bar in his hometown of Loiza, shot numerous times in the head and in the back by two gunmen. According to police, Calderon was shot "execution style," and robbery was not a motive. At one time considered a star-in-the-making, Calderson played 10 seasons in the major leagues, compiling a .272 career batting average and 104 home runs. A native of Puerto Rico, he played for the Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, and Montreal Expos, and was once traded for star outfielder Tim Raines.

Paul Owens (Died on Dec. 26 in Woodbury, N.J.; age 79; lengthy illness): Nicknamed "The Pope" because of his physical resemblance to Pope Paul VI, Owens gained his greatest fame as general manager of the 1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. During a 48-year career with the Phillies' organization, Owens served in almost every capacity-minor league player, scout, farm system director, general manager, and manager. The prime of his career occurred in the late seventies and early eighties, when the Phillies, under his leadership as general manager, captured four division titles, a National League pennant, and the only World Championship in the franchise's history. Owens began his professional baseball career as a first baseman in the St. Louis Cardinals' system in 1951. During his minor league career, he won three batting titles and compiled a .374 average. In 1955, he joined the Phillies as a player-manager in Olean, New York, in 1955. Two years later, he won the PONY League batting title with a .407 average.

Charles Bowles, 86, passed away on Dec. 23, 2003 in Newton, N.C. He debuted in 1943 and played two seasons for the Philadelphia Athletics.

Dick Butler (Died on Dec. 20 in Fort Worth, Texas; age 92): A veteran of 49 years as a major and minor league executive, Butler worked as an assistant to Commissioner A.B. "Happy" Chandler and later as a special assistant to American League President Bobby Brown. Butler also served as the supervisor of AL umpires.

Carmen Mauro, 77, passed away on Dec. 19, 2003 in Carmichael, Calif. He debuted in 1948 and played for the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, Washington Senators, and Philadelphia Athletics. He retired in 1953.

Mary Baker (Died on Dec. 17 in St. Mary's, Ontario; age 84; respiratory failure): Baker played as a catcher for the South Bend Blue Sox of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), before becoming manager of the Kalamazoo Lassies. Reportedly the basis of Geena Davis' character in A League of Their Own, Baker was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Earl Gillespie (Died on Dec. 12 in Milwaukee, Wis; age 81; respiratory failure): Gillespie was the voice of the Milwaukee Braves throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, serving as the team's lead play-by-play broadcaster on radio. He announced Braves games during the team's World Series seasons of 1957 and '58. Known for his "Holy Cow" exclamations, Gillespie was named Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year eight times.

Don Wheeler (Died on Dec. 10 in Minneapolis, Minn.; age 81): A right-handed hitting catcher, Wheeler played in 67 games for the Chicago White Sox in 1949, his lone major league season. After his playing days, Wheeler worked as a carrier for the United States Postal Service and also officiated a number of high school and collegiate sports in Minnesota.

Jim Sheehan (Died on Dec. 2 in New Haven, Conn.; age 90): After starring at Fordham University, Sheehan arrived in the major leagues as a late-season call-up in 1936. Nicknamed "Big Jim," Sheehan appeared in one game for the New York Giants, going hitless in four at-bats.

John Brewer (Died on Nov. 30 in Sun City, Calif.; age 84): A right-handed pitcher, Brewer spent parts of three seasons with the New York Giants, winning a career-high eight games in 1945.

Ira Lee Mobley Sr. (Died on Nov. 30 in Ocean Springs, Miss.; age 78): The versatile Mobley played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1954, putting in appearances as a shortstop, second baseman, and outfielder. A standout collegiate player, Mobley was inducted into the Southern University Hall of Fame in 1991.

Warren Spahn (Died on Nov. 24 in Broken Arrow, Okla.; age 82; lengthy illness): The colorful Hall of Fame left-hander won more games than any southpaw in major league history, compiling a record of 363-245 in a career that spanned 21 seasons with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves, New York Mets, and San Francisco Giants. Using a deceptive high-kicking delivery that puzzled many hitters, Spahn won 20 or more games 13 times and captured the Cy Young Award in 1957. He also authored two no-hitters during his career. Spahn's long-term pitching dominance earned him election to the Hall of Fame in 1973, his first year of eligibility. "Warren Spahn was a fighter and a winner," New York Yankees manager Joe Torre told the Associated Press "He made catching in the big leagues a lot easier for me because he took me under his wing along with Lew Burdette. One of my biggest thrills to this day was catching his 300th victory in 1961." … In addition to his standout pitching, Spahn was also regarded as one of the better hitting pitchers of his era. He hit 35 home runs, the most in the history of the National League… Off the field, Spahn gained acclaim as a certified war hero. A veteran of World War II, he fought at the Battle of the Bulge and earned the prestigious Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his military efforts.

Joe Just (Died on Nov. 22 in Franklin, Va.; age 87): Just spent parts of two seasons as a catcher with the Cincinnati Reds. Known for his defensive abilities behind the plate, Just played briefly in 1944 and '45 before becoming a minor league coach and manager.

Cowan "Bubba" Hyde (Died on Nov. 20 in St. Louis, Mo.; age 95; brief illness): Regarded as one of the speediest outfielders in the Negro Leagues, Hyde enjoyed a long professional career that spanned from 1927 to 1953. In 1950, Hyde attended a tryout camp for the Boston Braves, but had to discontinue the tryout in order to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Remaining in top-flight condition in his later years, Hyde reportedly played in exhibition games while in his eighties.

Ken Brett (Died on Nov. 18 in Spokane, Wash.; age 55; brain cancer): The brother of Hall of Famer George Brett, he pitched 14 seasons in the major leagues and gained notoriety when he became the youngest pitcher in World Series history. Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1966, Ken Brett found himself in the middle of a pennant race, part of the "Impossible Dream" season that saw the Red Sox earn a berth in the World Series. He pitched one and a third scoreless innings of relief against the St. Louis Cardinals, becoming the youngest World Series pitcher at 19 years and one month. Brett later pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, and California Angels. In one of the highlights of his career, Brett earned selection to the 1974 All-Star team as a member of the Pirates. Fittingly, he picked up the win in the All-Star Game, as the National League beat the American League in his home park, Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium. Brett's pitching was often overshadowed by his hitting; he batted .262 with 10 home runs in 347 major league at-bats. Known for his affable, friendly nature, Brett later enjoyed success as a color announcer with both the Angels broadcast team and the ESPN network. In 1999, he attended his brother's induction ceremony in Cooperstown, NY.

Pete Taylor (Died on Nov. 17 in Annapolis, Md.; age 75; a stroke): After serving in the Army during World War II, Taylor signed a professional contract with the minor league Baltimore Orioles in 1945. The MVP of the Colonial League in 1946, he eventually appeared in one major league game, pitching two innings for the St. Louis Browns on May 2, 1952. Taylor allowed three walks and three earned runs in his lone big league appearance.

Earl Battey (Died on Nov. 15 in Ocala, Fla.; age 68; cancer): Regarded as one of the finest catchers of the 1960s, Battey batted .270 and hit 104 home runs during a 13-year career with the Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, and Minnesota Twins. In 1965, he finished in the top 10 in the American League's MVP voting, helping the Twins to their first American League championship. He also finished in the top 10 in MVP voting in 1960 and '63 and earned four selections to the All-Star Game. Known for his strong arm and ability to handle pitchers, he also won three Gold Glove awards. As one of the most popular Twins players with his teammates, Battey's ability to speak Spanish helped him become friends with Latin-born players like Tony Oliva. Battey also remained connected to the current-day game. According to the Associated Press, Battey counseled Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski (now with the San Francisco Giants) several times during the 2003 season.

Spider Jorgensen (Died on Nov. 6 in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; age 84): Primarily a third baseman during his five-year major league career, Jorgensen debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers on the same day that teammate Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier. He enjoyed his best year in his rookie season of 1947, batting .274 with five home runs and 67 RBIs. Later that year, he appeared in the World Series against the New York Yankees, marking the first of two appearances in the Fall Classic. After his playing days, Jorgensen worked as an American Legion coach. Most recently, he served as a scout for the Chicago Cubs, a position that he held for 22 years.

Dernell Stenson (Died on Nov. 5 in Chandler, Ariz. age 25; shot to death, murder still under investigation): A member of the Cincinnati Reds in 2003, Stenson was playing in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) when he was found dead, having been shot and run over by a car. Police are continuing to investigate both the circumstances and motives behind the murder. Stenson made his major league debut this past summer, appearing in 37 games for the Reds. The young outfielder-first baseman then continued his season in the AFL and was batting .394 for the Scottsdale Scorpions at the time of his death. He was expected to compete for a spot on Cincinnati's 25-man roster in the spring of 2004.

Sonny Senerchia (Died on Nov. 1 in Freehold, N.J.; age 72): Making his major league debut at the age of 21 in 1952, Senerchia played one season as a third baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates before converting to pitcher. Four years later, while a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' organization, he was involved in the deal that sent pitcher Brooks Lawrence to the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher Jackie Collum.

Al Corwin (Died on Oct. 23 in Geneva, Ill.; age 76): Corwin pitched in 117 major league games for the New York Giants, posting a career record of 18-10 with a 3.98 ERA. In 1951, he went 5-1 with a 3.66 ERA in 59 innings, with his late-season pitching helping the Giants catch the Brooklyn Dodgers and eventually capture the National League pennant. Later that fall, he pitched one and two-thirds innings of relief against the New York Yankees in Game Five of the World Series.

Josh Brinkley (Died on Oct. 16 in Wallace, N.C.; age 30; car accident): The hitting coach for the independent Bangor Lumberjacks of the Northeast League, Brinkley was jogging near the side of a road when he was struck and killed by a passing car. Brinkley had joined Bangor this season after previously working for Lincoln in the Northern League. His minor league playing career included stops in Harrisburg (a Montreal Expos affiliate) and independent Little Falls, where he batted .327 during the 2000 season.

Joan Kroc (Died on Oct. 12 in San Diego, Calif.; age 75; brain cancer): Kroc became the owner of the San Diego Padres after the death of her husband, Ray, in 1984. (Mr. Kroc had purchased the Padres in 1974, thus preventing the team from moving to Washington.) Mrs. Kroc remained owner of the franchise until 1990, when she decided to sell the team in order to spend more time with her family. Noted for her philanthropic efforts, Kroc contributed time and money to a number of causes, including health care, cancer research, and the fight against AIDS.

Johnny Klippstein (Died on Oct. 10 in Chicago, Ill.; age 75; prostate cancer): Klippstein posted a record of 110-118 as a durable right-handed starting pitcher during the 1950s and sixties. A well-liked veteran of 18 major league seasons, Klippstein debuted with the Chicago Cubs in 1950. He eventually appeared in two World Series, once with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1959 and later with the Minnesota Twins in 1965. Klippstein, who was married to the niece of former major league pitcher Dutch Leonard, passed away while listening to Game Three of the National League Championship Series between the Cubs and the Florida Marlins.

Frank McCormack (Died on Oct. 9 in Bakersfield, Calif.; age 84): A onetime scout for the New York Yankees, McCormack also worked as a trainer in the minor leagues. In addition to his professional association with the game, he was a passionate fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and a longtime member of the Society for American Baseball Research. McCormack wrote a regular trivia column for a Dodgers' fan newsletter.

John Raymond Gora (Died on Oct. 7 in Danville, Ill.; age 91; complications from a stroke): An award-winning photographer, Gora captured one of the most memorable pictures in baseball history-a still shot of Chicago White Sox outfielder Al Smith being showered with a cup of beer while trying to catch a home run ball in Game Two of the 1959 World Series. At the time a photographer for the Chicago Tribune, Gora had begun his career in 1927 as a copy boy for the Chicago Herald-News. He joined the staff of the Tribune in 1942, remaining there until his retirement in 1977.

Stephen Gates (Died on Oct. 4 in Hillsborough, N.C.; age 27): Gates was serving as the media relations director for the independent Northeast League at the time of his death. He was killed in a hit-and-run accident after stopping to fix a flat tire on the interstate near Hillsborough.

Red Barbary (Died on Sept. 27 in Simpsonville, S.C.; age 83): Barbary accrued only one at-bat in his major league career, appearing briefly for the Washington Senators in 1943. Formerly a star in South Carolina's textile leagues, Barbary was considered an excellent catching prospect while with the Charlotte Hornets of the Piedmont League. In 1991, he won election to the Greater Greenville Baseball Hall of Fame.

George Plimpton (Died on Sept. 25 in New York City; age 76; heart attack): Although best known for Paper Lion, the book that detailed his adventures practicing with the National Football League's Detroit Lions in 1963, the respected intellectual author also made several ventures into the baseball world. In 1959, Plimpton used his method of "participatory journalism" and pitched in an exhibition game featuring both American and National League All-Stars. While Plimpton failed to last an inning, he did retire future Hall of Famer Willie Mays, at the time a star with the San Francisco Giants, on a harmless pop-up. Plimpton then wrote about the experience in a 1961 book called Out of My League, which Ernest Hemingway described as "beautifully observed and incredible conceived." In 1985, Plimpton wrote a fictitious article for Sports Illustrated about a top-notch New York Mets pitching prospect named Sidd Finch, whom he described as having a 168 mile-per-hour fastball. Plimpton wrote the April Fool's Day article in such a believable style that more than a few readers, including some diehard Mets fans, regarded Finch as a real prospect, only to learn later that Plimpton had perpetrated one of the greatest hoaxes in baseball's literary history. And then on June 6, 2001, Plimpton appeared as the keynote speaker at the annual Cooperstown Baseball Symposium, held at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, where he regaled listeners with a variety of stories from his eclectic career… As a writer, Plimpton served as the unpaid editor for The Paris Review, a quarterly magazine that served as a launching vehicle for several up-and-coming authors, including Jack Kerouac and Philip Roth. The versatile Plimpton also made his mark in Hollywood, appearing in several films, including the critically acclaimed Good Will Hunting (1997), along with LA Story (1991) and Reds (1981). Allen Lewis (Died on Sept. 14 in Clearwater, Florida; age 86; long illness): A longtime sportswriter who covered Philadelphia area baseball, Lewis was well respected for his knowledge of the game and its history. From 1946 to 1972, Lewis covered the Phillies as a beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1981, he earned the Hall of Fame's J.G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding contributions to baseball writing. Lewis also served on the Hall's Veterans Committee from 1979 to 2001. He becomes the third member of the 2001Veterans Committee to die this year, along with writer Leonard Koppett and broadcaster Ken Coleman.

Johnny Welaj (Died on Sept. 13 in Arlington, Texas; age 89; long illness): A 63-year veteran of professional baseball, Welaj worked in almost area of the game-as a player, manager, and executive. The outfielder began his major league career in 1939, when he debuted with the Washington Senators. After three years with the Senators, he closed out his playing career with the Philadelphia A's, finishing with four home runs and a .250 batting average in 793 at-bats. In 1954, Welaj began managing in the minor leagues before joining the front office of the Washington Senators in 1957. Working in sales and promotions, he began an association that would last for 43 years with the Senators-Texas Rangers franchise.

Josh Gibson Jr. (Died on Sept. 10 in Homewood, Pa.; age 73): Although best known as the son of Hall of Fame catcher Josh Gibson, the younger Gibson also played in the Negro Leagues. Gibson Jr. became interested in a career in professional baseball while serving as a batboy for one of his father's teams, the Pittsburgh Crawfords. Despite the protestations of the elder Gibson, who did not want his son to face the same kind of racial prejudice that he had endured in the Negro Leagues, the younger Gibson pursued his dream and played for the Homestead Grays in 1949 and '50. Unfortunately, Gibson Jr.'s career was cut short by an ankle injury, which he suffered while sliding into a base. After his playing days, Gibson formed the Josh Gibson Foundation as a way of honoring his father and providing youngsters with a chance to play youth baseball. In one of his last public appearances earlier this season, Gibson Jr. traveled to PNC Park in Pittsburgh, the home park of the Pirates, to take part in a ceremony honoring players from the Negro Leagues.

Sean Kimerling (Died on Sept. 9 in New York City; age 37; complications from testicular cancer): A roving reporter on New York Mets home games, Kimerling worked as a sportscaster for WPIX-TV, the Mets' non-cable flagship station. Kimerling died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he was being treated for testicular cancer. In his honor, the Mets held a moment of silence prior to their game against the Florida Marlins on Sept. 9… Considered a truly nice guy in an industry known for its inflated egos and frequent confrontation, the gentlemanly Kimerling started his broadcasting career with television stations in Texas and Oklahoma before joining the WPIX staff as a weekend sports anchor in 1997. In 2002, he received a first-place award for best sports coverage from the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

Wilbur Snapp (Died on Sept. 6 in South Pasadena, Fla.; age 83): Snapp never played professional baseball and never broadcast or wrote about the sport, but gained notoriety as an organist for the minor league Clearwater Phillies. During a 1985 game at Clearwater's Jack Russell Stadium, Snapp reacted to a questionable umpiring call by playing "Three Blind Mice" on the ballpark organ. The umpire responded by turning around, pointing at Snapp, and ejecting him from the game. Snapp's controversial ejection, which some observers considered an overreaction by the umpire, resulted in a flood of publicity. Willard Scott, then the weatherman on NBC's "Today" show, mentioned the incident on the air, as did longtime radio broadcaster Paul Harvey. Snapp became so well known that some fans asked for his autograph, which he obliged by signing "Wilbur Snapp, Three Blind Mice Organist." A veteran of World War II, Snapp worked Clearwater games from 1978 to 1997, when Jack Russell Stadium switched from the organ to recorded music.

Emil Belich (Died on Sept. 3 in Milwaukee, Wis.; age 83; prostate cancer): A longtime scout for the Milwaukee Brewers, Belich signed two of the team's cornerstones of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Paul Molitor and Jim Gantner. Belich joined the Milwaukee Braves as a scout and batting practice pitcher in 1953 and then worked for the Philadelphia Phillies before returning to Milwaukee as a scout with the Brewers in 1971. He remained with the Brewers until the mid-1980s, allowing him to watch Gantner and Molitor contribute to the team's 1982 American League pennant. Belich then worked for Major League Baseball's scouting bureau before rejoining the Phillies' organization in 1991.

Claude Passeau (Died on Aug. 30 in Lucedale, Miss.; age 94; injuries related to a broken hip): A veteran of 13 major league seasons, Passeau pitched a one-hit shutout for the Chicago Cubs in the 1945 World Series. He also pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies, winning a total of 162 career games. Passeau earned selection to four National League All-Star teams.

Dick Bogard (Died on Aug. 29 in Southern Calif.; age 66; cancer): Formerly a minor league player, Bogard was working as the Texas Rangers' special assistant for scouting operations at the time of his death. He had previously served as the Oakland A's' director of scouting from 1984 to 1994. During his tenure as Oakland's head of scouting, the A's drafted and signed such players as Jason Giambi, Ben Grieve, and Walt Weiss. After wrapping up his playing career in 1962, Bogard became an area scout and minor league manager in the Houston Astros' organization. He later joined the Milwaukee Brewers as an area scout and also worked for Major League Baseball's Scouting Bureau as a national crosschecker.

Bobby Bonds (Died on Aug. 23 in San Francisco, Calif.; age 57; multiple cancers): Often compared to Willie Mays in his earliest major league days, Bonds debuted for the San Francisco Giants in 1968. Taking his place next to Mays in the Giants' star-studded outfield, Bonds enjoyed a notable major league debut, blasting a grand slam in his first game. The following summer, Bonds played his first full season and led the National League in runs scored… The peak of Bonds' career occurred from 1969 to 1973, when he emerged as an All-Star player who blended speed and power to unusual levels. He achieved his first two 30-30 seasons (home runs-stolen bases) during that span, and in 1973, set a record by hitting 11 leadoff home runs, a mark that would not be broken until 1996… After the 1974 season, the Giants engineered a controversial blockbuster trade, sending Bonds to the New York Yankees for another star outfielder, Bobby Murcer. Although most talent evaluators considered Bonds the superior player, Yankee fans reacted with disgust to the trade, given the popularity of Murcer in Yankee pinstripes. Moving on to a city with something other than open arms waiting for him, Bonds played well in his lone season in New York. Bonds slugged .512 in his only season with the Yankees (while playing in the pitcher's haven of Shea Stadium), but he could never make people forget the more popular Murcer and soon became a California Angel, in exchange for the uncelebrated package of outfielder Mickey Rivers and pitcher Ed Figueroa. From there, Bonds hurt his hand and bounced from club to club-from the Angels to the Chicago White Sox to the Texas Rangers to the Cleveland Indians. Ever a threat to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases (which he accomplished five times during his career), the accomplished leadoff man remained productive but enigmatic, never quite living up to the foreshadowing of superstardom and always giving teams reasons to move him on to another destination… Given his constant travels, the names of players traded for Bonds reads like a "who's who" of baseball semi-stars in the 1970s. The list included Murcer, Rivers and Figueroa, outfielders Claudell Washington, Brian Downing and Jerry Mumphrey, and pitchers John Denny and Jim Kern… By 1980, Bonds had started to show significant decline. Bonds struggled with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1980 and the Chicago Cubs in 1981, bringing his career to a premature end… Still, Bonds achieved numerous awards and statistical milestones. He won three Gold Gloves for his fielding excellence in the outfield, a tribute to his range and powerful throwing arm. He twice finished in the top four in the voting for the National League's Most Valuable Player Award. Over one span of five consecutive years, he scored 100 or more runs each year. He also earned selection to three All-Star games, winning MVP honors for his performance in the 1973 Midsummer Classic… After retiring as a player, Bonds became a coach with the Indians, working for them from 1984 to 1987. In 1993, he returned to the Giants' organization, serving as both a batting instructor and first base coach. His reunion with the Giants allowed him to spend more time with his superstar son, Barry, who had joined San Francisco as a free agent in Dec. of 1992. Since 1996, Bobby Bonds had served the Giants as a special assistant to general manager Brian Sabean… Bonds' last public appearance occurred on Wednesday, Aug. 20, when he visited Pac Bell Park. The visit allowed the elder Bonds, confined to a wheelchair, to watch his son play in person for a final time.

Ken Coleman (Died on Aug. 21 in Plymouth, Mass.; age 78; bacterial meningitis): A longtime broadcaster and colorful storyteller, Coleman worked the Boston Red Sox broadcasting booth for 20 years over two separate stints. The deep-voiced Coleman broadcast some of the hallmark moments in Red Sox' history, including Boston's 1967 "Impossible Dream" pennant-clincher, Carl Yastrzemski's 3,000th hit, and Dave Henderson's dramatic home run in Game Five of the 1986 American League Championship Series. Though best known for his associations with the Red Sox, Coleman also broadcast for the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. Noted for his sense of humor and ability to tell stories, Coleman also write five books during his career. The likeable Coleman was also actively involved in the fight against cancer, often donating his time and efforts to the Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Leigh Neuage (Died on Aug. 16 in Sydney, Australia; age 20; injuries from a fall): The young right-handed pitcher, who had spent three years in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, died after falling 15 floors at a Sydney hotel. Authorities are still investigating the reasons behind the fall, but do not believe that foul play was involved.

Francis "Red" Hardy (Died on Aug. 15 in Phoenix, Ariz.; age 80): Hardy, a right-handed pitcher, appeared in two games for the New York Giants in 1951. Prior to his major league playing days, Hardy served in World War II as a Navy pilot.

Charlie Devens (Died on Aug. 13 in Milton, Pa.; age 93): Reported to be the last living member of the New York Yankees from Babe Ruth's final World Championship team in 1932, Devens signed with the Pinstripers for a bonus of $5,000. Highly touted by manager Joe McCarthy, Devens pitched in only one regular season game in 1932-a complete-game victory. Devens was also on the Yankee bench during the 1932 World Series, when Babe Ruth hit his alleged "called shot" home run against Chicago Cubs pitcher Charlie Root. Devens also pitched for the Yankees in 1933 and '34, but reportedly left baseball because his father didn't approve of such an occupation. Devens later served in World War II, winning the Bronze Star, and eventually became a successful businessman in the Boston area.

Billy Rogell (Died on Aug. 9 in Sterling Heights, Mich.; age 98; pneumonia): A pugnacious 14-year veteran shortstop who played for the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Detroit Tigers, Rogell was involved in one of the most famous plays in baseball history. The incident occurred in Game Four of the 1934 World Series, as Rogell's Tigers and Dizzy Dean's St. Louis Cardinals battled for baseball supremacy. Having entered the game as a pinch-runner, Dean ran toward second on a ground ball to Detroit's Charlie Gehringer. The Hall of Fame second baseman threw to Rogell, who was playing despite a fractured ankle, for the forceout at second. Trying for the double play, Rogell threw to first, only to hit Dean in the head, knocking him unconscious. In spite of the injury, the Cardinals went on to win the Series in seven games. That was a disappointing finish to a season that had seen Rogell drive in 100 runs despite hitting a mere three home runs. The following year, Rogell and the Tigers returned to the Fall Classic, this time beating the Chicago Cubs in five games. Rogell played a key role, hitting a solid .292 against Chicago pitching… Following his playing days, Rogell served as a Detroit council member, a position that he held for nearly 40 years… On Sept. 27, 1999, the Tigers honored Rogell by asking him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the final game in the history of Tiger Stadium. Mickey McDermott (Died on Aug. 7; age 74; colon cancer): A once-promising left-hander who never quite fulfilled the predictions of some scouts, McDermott forged a journeyman career with the Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, Detroit Tigers, and St. Louis Cardinals. An injury to his pitching elbow, combined with excessive drinking, contributed to McDermott's struggles in the major leagues… In one of the highlights of his career, McDermott pitched two one-hitters for the Red Sox in the 1940s and '50s. McDermott, who finished his career with a record of 69-69 in 12 seasons, recently issued an autobiography entitled A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cooperstown. George Maloney (Died on July 29 in Barstow, California; age 75): A minor league umpire evaluator at the time of his death, Maloney worked as an American League arbiter from 1969 to 1983. In one of the highlights of his major league career, Maloney served on the umpiring crew for the classic 1975 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds. Maloney also worked three American League Championship Series and three All-Star games… Maloney passed away while traveling by car from his home in southern California to supervise umpires in the Northwest and Pioneer leagues.

Maurice McDermott, 74, passed away on Aug. 7, 2003 in Phoenix, Ariz. He debuted in 1948 and played 12 years. He played six seasons with the Boston Red Sox, two seasons with the Washington Senators, one season with the New York Yankees, one season with Kansas City, one season with Detroit and retired in 1961 with St. Louis.

Charles "Gene" Hasson, 88, passed away on July 30, 2003 in Pomona, Calif. He debuted in 1937 and played two seasons for the Philadelphia Athletics.

Jim Pruett (Died on July 29 in Waukesa, Wis.; age 85): A veteran of nine major league games and 13 at-bats in the 1940s, Pruett played for Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's. After his 17-year professional career came to an end, Pruett eventually returned to baseball, working as an usher for nearly two decades at Milwaukee's County Stadium, the home of the Brewers until the team's recent move to Miller Park. Pruett had played for the Brewers in 1943 and '44, when the team was still a minor league franchise.

Norm McRae (Died on July 28 in Garland, Texas; age 55; cancer): McRae's claim to fame was his inclusion on the blockbuster trade that sent Denny McLain from the Detroit Tigers to the Washington Senators. In the deal, McRae joined McLain, infielder Don Wert, and outfielder Elliott Maddox in heading to the Senators for infielders Eddie Brinkman and Aurelio Rodriguez and pitchers Joe Coleman and Jim Hannan. The deal turned out to be a disaster for the Senators, as McLain failed to regain his Tiger brilliance in Washington, Wert and Maddox proved disappointments, and McRae never again appeared in the major leagues. McRae moved on to the Mexican League, where he pitched from 1972 to 1981 before becoming a coach in the league for four seasons. A right-handed pitcher, McRae had pitched respectably in two seasons for the Tigers, posting an ERA of 3.15 in 34 innings. He finished his big league career without a save or a decision in 22 appearances.

Grady Wilson, 80, passed away on July 23, 2003 in Columbus, Georgia. He debuted in 1948 and played one season for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Dottie Stolze (Died on July 19 in Alameda, Calif.; age 80): Stolze was a veteran of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, making her professional debut as a shortstop for the Muskegon Lassies in 1946. An extremely versatile player, Stolze played every position on the diamond except for pitcher. After retiring from the Peoria Red Wings in 1952, Stolze became a physical education teacher and softball coach.

James C. Pruett, 85, passed away on July 29, 2003 in Waukesha, Wisc. He played two seasons for the Philadelphia Athletics debuting in 1944 and retiring in 1945.

Ribs Raney (Died on July 7 in Warren, Mich.; age 80): Nicknamed "Ribs" because of his slender build, Raney pitched in four games for the St. Louis Browns in 1949 and '50.

Eddie Chandler (Died on July 6 in Las Vegas, Nev.; age 81): A member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Chandler pitched in only one season, coinciding with Jackie Robinson's major league debut in 1947. In 15 games, the right-handed Chandler posted an ERA of 6.37 and lost his only decision.

Vince Lloyd (Died on July 3 in Green Valley, Ariz.; age 86; stomach cancer): A longtime broadcaster who worked Chicago Cubs games for 38 years, Lloyd teamed with legendary announcers like Jack Brickhouse and Lou Boudreau during his tenure in the Windy City. As a broadcaster for WGN-TV and WGN Radio, Lloyd was often overshadowed by more well-known names in the Cubs' booth. In the early years of televised Cubs games, Lloyd teamed with Brickhouse, one of the most popular broadcasters in Chicago's history. He later worked with Boudreau, a Hall of Famer, as the radio voice of the Cubs for 23 years. In one of his most notable achievements, Lloyd became the first sportscaster to conduct a live interview with a sitting president at an Opening Day game. In 1961, Lloyd interviewed President John F. Kennedy before he threw out the first pitch of the season at Washington's traditional presidential opener… In tribute to Lloyd's memory, the Cubs observed a moment of silence at Wrigley Field before their Fourth of July game against the rival St. Louis Cardinals.

Bill Miller (Died on July 1; age 75; congestive heart failure): Pitching mostly for the New York Yankees, Miller worked in 41 games from 1952 to 1955. He played for the Yankees' World Championship teams in 1952 and '53, but did not appear in either of those World Series. Concluding his career with the Baltimore Orioles, Miller compiled a lifetime record of 6-9 with five complete games and two shutouts.

John Royster (Died on June 29; age 42; heart attack): Formerly a senior editor at Baseball America, Royster died suddenly of cardiac arrest after participating in an adult softball league game. Royster had worked at Baseball America for 14 years, before deciding to leave the well-respected periodical last year. Royster was highly regarded for his knowledge of baseball, his writing skills, and his attention to detail.

Jack Bruner (Died on June 24 in Lincoln, Neb.; age 88): A left-handed pitcher, Bruner hurled parts of two seasons for the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Browns. After splitting the 1950 season with Chicago and St. Louis, he returned to the minor leagues for the rest of his playing career.

Max Manning (Died on June 23 in Pleasantville, N.J.; age 84; lengthy illness): Nicknamed "Dr. Cyclops" because of his unusually thick eyeglasses, Manning enjoyed a solid career as a side-arming pitcher in the Negro Leagues in the late 1930s and 1940s. He was once offered a tryout by the Detroit Tigers in 1937, only to have the offer rescinded when the Tigers discovered that he was black. A tall right-hander with a deceiving delivery, Manning pitched for the Johnson Stars and Newark Eagles, barnstormed with Satchel Paige's All-Stars, and served in the U.S. military during World War II. In 1946, Manning pitched the final game of the black World Series, helping the Eagles to a 3-2 victory over the Monarchs for the championship. After his playing days, which were short-circuited by arm troubles, Manning worked for nearly 30 years as a popular sixth-grade teacher in Pleasantville.

Bob "Riverboat" Smith (Died on June 23 in Clarence, Mo.; age 76; injuries suffered in a tractor accident): A veteran of three major league teams, Smith made his major league debut for Boston in 1958. He later joined the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, compiling a lifetime record of 4-4. He enjoyed his best season in '58, when he sported a 3.78 ERA and a 4-3 mark for the Bosox. Following his playing career, Smith devoted himself fulltime to farming, an industry that he had first entered in 1953. He also worked extensively with the baseball program in Clarence, helping construct several playing fields at Clarence City Lake during the 1960s.

Harry Kinzy (Died on June 22 in Fort Worth, Texas; age 92): Nicknamed "Slim," this tall right-hander pitched 34 innings in his lone big league season in 1934. Kinzy lost his only decision for the Chicago White Sox, while forging an ERA of 4.98.

Leonard Koppett (Died on June 22 in San Francisco, Calif.; age 79; heart attack): A highly respected writer who had covered baseball since the 1940s and had authored a total of 15 books, Koppett received the Hall of Fame's prestigious J.G.Taylor Spink Award in 1992. After graduating from Columbia University in 1944, Koppett went to work for the New York Herald Tribune and New York Post, before deciding to relocate to the West Coast as a correspondent for the New York Times. A fixture at A's and Giants games for three decades, Koppett wrote for the Peninsula Times Tribune, among other newspapers in the Bay Area. Koppett also served as a columnist for the weekly periodical, The Sporting News, from 1965 to 1984… In his columns, Koppett combined a traditional love of baseball with an open-minded, analytical approach to the game. As one of the first established writers to embrace Sabermetrics, Koppett often referred to statistics not contained in basic box scores… Koppett's knowledge of the game and its history helped him land a position as a voting member on the Hall of Fame's Veterans Committee, on which he served from 1996 until his death. He provided the Committee with valuable counsel on a wide range of prospective Hall of Famers, from Negro Leaguers to 19th century greats.

Larry Doby (Died on June 18 in Montclair, N.J.; age 78 or 79 [age disputed]; cancer): As the first black player in American League history and the second African-American major league player of the 20th century (after Jackie Robinson), Doby played a major role in the game's social history. Yet it was that attachment to the breaking of baseball's color barrier that overshadowed a stellar career in both the Negro Leagues and the major leagues. The teenaged Doby launched his professional career in 1942, when he debuted as a second baseman for the Newark Eagles. He initially played under the name of "Larry Walker," as a way of protecting his amateur status. After a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, the hard-hitting Doby returned to the Eagles before receiving the call to the major leagues. On July 5, 1947, just 11 weeks after Robinson had debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Doby broke into the big leagues with the Cleveland Indians, who had purchased him from the Eagles for $15,000. The Indians quickly converted him from the middle infield to a combined position as a first baseman and outfielder. The following summer, Doby moved into the starting outfield and helped the Indians to the American League pennant and the last World Championship in the team's history. A fine defensive outfielder who possessed both speed and power, Doby qualified for seven All-Star teams during his 13 years in the major leagues. He also led the American League in home runs twice and RBIs once… Much like Robinson, Doby endured opposition from racists both at the ballpark and away from the stadium. On one occasion, Doby slid into second base, only to be treated to a spitting shower from the opposing shortstop. In addition, numerous hotels and restaurants turned their backs on Doby because of their policy of serving whites only. With no other black players on the Indians until the arrival of Satchel Paige in 1948, Doby had to deal with much of the racism on his own. Yet he rarely expressed much public anger or bitterness over his treatment… After his playing days, Doby continued to play a role as a racial pioneer; in 1978, the Chicago White Sox named him manager, making him the second African-American skipper (after Frank Robinson). Prior to his managerial tenure, Doby had worked as a coach with the Indians and Montreal Expos. He later moved from major league baseball to the NBA, working in community affairs for the New Jersey Nets… In 1998, Doby received baseball's ultimate individual honor when he won election to the Hall of Fame by the shrine's Veterans Committee.

Carlisle Tippit (Died on June 8; age 83 in Chagrin Falls, Ohio; kidney failure): Tippit was a part owner of the Cleveland Indians from 1972 to 1986. A successful businessman in the field of water treatment chemicals, he also served as the Indians' chairman of the board for 18 months. An avid fan of the game, Tippit was listening to a game between the Indians and the Arizona Diamondbacks at the time of his death.

Greg Garrett (Died on June 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.; age 55): A standout minor league left-hander, Garrett pitched two seasons in the major leagues with the California Angels and Cincinnati Reds. In 1907, Garrett pitched the entire season with the Angels, sculpting a record of 5-6 with a 2.64 ERA. In 1971, Garrett pitched well in two appearances for the Reds, but never again surfaced in the major leagues. His professional career ended in 1972 as a member of Charlotte's minor league staff in the Southern League.

Frank "Ribs" Raney, 80, passed away on July 7, 2003 in Warren, Mich. He debuted in 1949 and played two seasons for the St. Louis Browns.

Ray Medeiros, 77, passed away on June 6, 2003 in San Mateo, Calif. He debuted in 1945 and played one season for the Cincinnati Reds.

Makoto Kozuru (Died on June 2 in Tokyo, Japan; age 80; heart failure): Known as the "Japanese Joe DiMaggio" because of a batting style that resembled that of the longtime Yankees' great, Kozuru established Japanese single-season records of 161 RBIs and 143 runs. He set both records in 1950, when he also hit 51 home runs and earned league MVP honors. During a 15-year career, Kozuru hit .280 with 230 home runs and 923 RBIs, numbers that helped him win election to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980. After retiring as a player, Kozuru served as a batting coach and scout for the Hanshin Tigers.

Johnny "Hippity" Hopp (Died on June 1 in Scottsbluff, Neb.; age 86): A .296 career hitter, Hopp participated in five World Series during a notable major league career. After making his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1939, the young outfielder went on to play for three National League pennant winners in St. Louis. Well-liked by fans and teammates, Hopp was voted the Cardinals' most popular player in 1941. Three years later, he put together his most productive big league season, batting .336 with 11 home runs and 72 RBIs for the wartime Cardinals. Hopp remained with the Redbirds until 1946, when he was traded to the Boston Braves. He later played with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers before moving on to the New York Yankees. With the Yankees, Hopp won World Series rings in 1950 and '51, as part of New York's uninterrupted four-year run as World Champions. After his playing days, Hopp served as a coach with both the Cardinals and the Tigers before retiring completely from baseball in 1957.

Pete Sivess (Died on June 1 in South River, N.J.; age 89): This tall right-hander pitched in 62 games for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1936 to 1938. He forged a record of 7-11 and an ERA of 5.38. Charlotte Witkind (Died on May 18 in Columbus, Ohio; age 83): A limited partner for the New York Yankees since George Steinbrenner initially purchased the team in 1973, Witkind was a passionate fan of the game known for her ability to memorize statistics. Witkind first met Steinbrenner at an inauguration party for Ohio Gov. John Gilligan in 1973, when "The Boss" was looking for investors to help him with his proposed purchase of the Yankees. Witkind and her husband, Richard, became limited partners in the team's ownership. Witkind's husband remains a part-owner of the franchise. Bill Buhler (Died on May 17; age 75): The longtime trainer of the Los Angeles Dodgers for nearly four decades, Buhler was regarded as one of the most innovative medical men in baseball. He helped develop a special throat guard for catchers shortly after the Dodgers' Steve Yeager was speared in the neck by a broken bat. Buhler also helped devise special equipment to help pitcher Tommy John with his rehabilitation efforts after arm surgery. In 1989, Major League Baseball recognized Buhler by naming him Trainer of the Year. Two years later, he was named the National League's trainer for the All-Star Game.

J.B. Spencer (Died on May 17 in Gretna, La.; age 83): A veteran of every position except pitcher, the versatile Spencer played in three Negro Leagues championships during his career, winning titles with the Homestead Grays in 1943 and '44, and another championship with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1945. Prior to spending five seasons in the minor leagues, Spencer also played for several other black ball teams, including the Baltimore Elite Giants, Harlem Globetrotters, New York Black Yankees, Pittsburgh Crawfords, and Seattle Steelheads.

Bill Thompson (Died on May 17; age 79; complications from surgery): Formerly a radio announcer for the San Francisco Giants, Thompson worked with several famous broadcast partners, including Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons. Thompson's tenure with the Giants lasted from 1965 to 1975.

Dave DeBusschere (Died on May 14 in New York City; age 62; massive heart attack): Best known as a Hall of Fame basketball player and contributor to two NBA championships with the New York Knicks, DeBusschere also pitched for two seasons in the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox. In 1962, he signed a $75,000 bonus contract with the White Sox, while also becoming a draft choice of the NBA's Detroit Pistons. During parts of two seasons with the White Sox, he posted a record of 3-4 and a solid 2.90 ERA in 36 games, but then decided to concentrate on basketball, where he excelled, especially as a defensive player. During a diverse career, DeBusschere played and coached for the Pistons, worked as the general manager of both the New York Nets and Knicks, and served as the last commissioner in the history of the old American Basketball Association.

George "Slick" Coffman (Died on May 8 in Birmingham, Ala. age 92): A veteran of four major league seasons, Coffman pitched for the Detroit Tigers from 1937-39 before concluding his career in 1940 with the St. Louis Browns. The brother of major leaguer Dick Coffman, "Slick" won 15 of 27 decisions despite an ERA of 5.60. After a respectable rookie season, Coffman posted ERA's of over 6.00 for three consecutive seasons.

Sam Lacy (Died on May 8 in Baltimore, Md.; age 99; esophageal disorder): One of the most respected figures in the sportswriting industry, Lacy was the first African-American to become a member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The venerable Lacy received the Hall of Fame's J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writing excellence in 1998 and served as the sports editor of The Baltimore Afro-American newspaper beginning in 1944. Lacy worked for the paper right up until his death, submitting his final article from his hospital bed. The article appeared in the Friday edition of the Afro-American, one day after Lacy's passing… A graduate of Howard University, Lacy was regarded as a pioneering writer, in large part because of his efforts to gain recognition for Negro Leagues players. During the 1930s, Lacy solicited the help of other writers in promoting the professional black leagues that had been founded by Rube Foster. Lacy also urged Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith, whose teams struggled on a perennial basis, to break the major league color barrier and consider signing black players. Lacy later championed the cause of Jackie Robinson, chronicling for his newspaper the story of the first African-American player in 20th century major league history. Much like Robinson, Lacy found himself subjected to racially charged verbal abuse in the press box, both from fans and fellow sportswriters.

Dottie Ferguson Key (Died on May 8 in Rockford, Ill.; age 80; cancer): A longtime veteran of women's baseball, Key played in 10 of the 12 seasons in which the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) existed. A second baseman and center fielder, Key participated in four world championship teams for the Rockford Peaches, earning league titles in 1945 and from 1948 to 1950. She remained with the team until 1954, when the league disbanded because of financial problems. Playing exclusively for the Peaches throughout her career, Key was believed to be the primary basis for the character played by Madonna in the 1992 film, A League of Their Own, which helped to popularize the AAGPBL. Madonna played "All The Way" Mae Mordabito, the character who played center field for Rockford in the critically-acclaimed film that also starred Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, and Rosie O'Donnell. Key was also prominently featured in a 1987 documentary about the AAGPBL. Key's road uniform, which features her No. 12, is part of the "Women in Baseball" exhibit currently featured at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Leroy "Red" Bass (Died on May 7 in El Paso, Texas; age 85): A veteran of the Negro Leagues from 1938 to 1941, Bass served as the backup catcher for the Homestead Grays during his final season. His professional career was cut short by World War II. Drafted into the service, Bass served in the Army for 27 years, eventually earning a promotion to colonel.

Steve Shilling (Died on May 7 in Medford, N.J.; age 44; cancer): Shilling was the owner of the Camden Riversharks, a team in the independent Atlantic League. After playing a major role in the building of the team's 6500-seat Campbell Field, Shilling oversaw the team's improvement from also-ran expansion club to perennial playoff team.

Art Houtteman (Died on May 6 in Rochester Hills, Mich.; age 75; heart attack): A veteran of 12 years in the major leagues with the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, and Baltimore Orioles, Houtteman once won 19 games and earned selection to the American League All-Star team. A product of Detroit Catholic Central, Houtteman bypassed the minor leagues and made his major league debut as a 17-year-old with the Tigers in 1945. He enjoyed his best season in 1950, when he went 19-12 for the Tigers with a 3.54 ERA and earned a berth in the All-Star Game. The following year, he was drafted into the Army and didn't return to the Tigers until 1952. In 1953, the Tigers traded him to the Indians, for whom he appeared in the World Series a year later. As part of a rotation that featured Early Wynn, Bob Lemon, Bob Feller and Mike Garcia, Houtteman forged a record of 15-7. In one of the highlights of his career, Houtteman pitched no-hit ball for eight and two thirds innings, but Harry "Suitcase" Simpson came up to bat and broke up the right-hander's attempt at baseball immortality. Finishing his major league tenure with a record of 87-91 and ERA of 4.14, Houtteman ended his major league career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1957, though he played minor league baseball in Vancouver for two more seasons. In one of his final public appearances, Houtteman joined other Tigers greats for the final major league game at Tiger Stadium in 1999.

Jim Hamilton (Died on May 4 in Oneonta, N.Y.; age 75): A longtime baseball columnist and newsroom employee for the Oneonta Daily Star, Hamilton continued to write for the newspaper up until a few weeks before his death. Hamilton, whose baseball column appeared each Saturday during the season, was respected for his encyclopedic knowledge of the game's history. Prior to his career in writing, Hamilton served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Daniel Napoleon, 61, passed away on April 26, 2003 in Trenton, N.J. He debuted in 1965 and played two seasons for the New York Mets.

Sherwood Brewer (Died on April 23 in Chicago, Ill.; age 79; cancer): A journeyman second baseman in the Negro Leagues, Brewer developed an interest in baseball because of his uncle, who raised him after the passing of the youngster's father. Brewer was just 11 months old at the time of his father's death. During a stint in the army, Brewer's playing skills started to garner the attention of scouts, particularly those in the Negro Leagues. After signing a pro contract, Brewer's playing career included tours with the Seattle Steelheads, Harlem Globetrotters, New York Cubans, and the Indianapolis Clowns. He also played briefly in minor league baseball before returning to the Negro Leagues with the Kansas City Monarchs, for whom he later served as manager. In one of the highlights of his career, Brewer appeared in the 1950 East-West All-Star Game. After his playing days, Brewer remained active in championing the cause of black players. In 1996, Brewer helped organize the Yesterday's Negro League Baseball Players Foundation. Chris Zachary (Died on April 19 in Knoxville, Tennessee; age 59; cancer): A onetime member of the Houston Colt .45s, Zachary also pitched for the Kansas City Royals (during their inaugural 1969 season), St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Tigers, and Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1970, the Cardinals acquired Zachary for submarining right-hander Ted Abernathy, one of the better-known firemen of the 1960s. Zachary's only sustained success came with the Tigers; in 1972, he helped the Tigers win the American League East by posting a 1.41 ERA in 25 games, mostly in middle relief. He finished his career with a record of 10-29.

William Zachary, 59, passed away on April 19, 2003 in Knoxville, Tenn. He debuted in 1963 and played five seasons with Houston, one season with Kansas City, one season with St. Louis, one season with Detroit, and retired in 1973 with Pittsburgh.

Lefty Sloat (Died on April 18 in St. Paul, Minn.; age 84): A two-year veteran of the major leagues in the 1940s, Sloat posted an ERA of 6.61 in nine games with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs. Prior to his big league tenure, Sloat served in World War II.

Al Epperly (Died on April 14 in McFarland, Wis.; age 84): Epperly experienced an unusual career in that he pitched in two major league seasons, separated by a 12-year span. The right-hander debuted in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs in 1938, winning two games for the National League pennant-winners. He didn't return to the big leagues until 1950, when he pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers. In between, his itinerary included stops with a variety of minor league teams. During a professional career that lasted 17 seasons, Epperly toiled for minor league teams like the San Francisco Seals, Milwaukee Brewers, Montreal Royals, and St. Paul Saints. He also played winter ball in Cuba.

Ray "Deacon" Murray (Died on April 9 in Spring Hope, N.C.; age 83): A catcher who debuted with the Cleveland Indians in 1948, Murray earned the nickname "Deacon" for preaching on bus trips during his minor league career. Murray's big league tenure began with a brief appearance in 1948, followed by a period of military service in World War II. In 1951, Murray was part of a three-team, seven-player trade. The deal sent Murray to the Kansas City Athletics, with the Indians receiving Lou Brissie, and the Chicago White Sox acquiring Minnie Minoso. Murray experienced the highlight of his baseball career in 1953, hitting .284 with six home runs and 41 RBIs. Murray remained with the A's until 1954, when they sold his contract to the Baltimore Orioles for $25,000. He ended his career with the O's later that season.

Hilly Flitcraft (Died on April 2 in Boulder, Colo.; age 79): A versatile left-handed hitter who pitched and manned the outfield, Flitcraft played briefly in the major leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1942. After a two-year layoff from baseball, Flitcraft returned to the game in 1945, enjoying one of the highlights of his career. That summer, he won 15 of 19 decisions with a 3.89 ERA for Wilmington of the Inter-State League.

Claude Christie (Died on March 31 in Twain Harte, Calif.; age 76): According to several sources, Christie deserves credit as the man who invented the batting tee. After a seven-year career as a catcher in the minor leagues, the community-minded Christie became active in youth baseball. According to several coaches, he started experimenting with a batting tee in the early 1950s. Christie's first tee was made of metal, but his later tees consisted of plastic. Christie also founded the first Little League organization for the city of Palm Springs, California, beginning in 1952.

Bill Merrill (Died on March 29 in Arlington, Texas; age 79): A veteran of World War II, Merrill worked as a broadcaster for the Texas Rangers from 1974 to 1981, performing both play-by-play and color commentary for the club. One of Merrill's career highlights occurred on Sept. 22, 1977, when he broadcast Bert Blyleven's 6-0 no-hitter against the California Angels.

Sam Bowens (Died on March 28 in Wilmington, N.C.; age 64): An alumnus of the Negro Leagues, Bowens went on to play seven seasons as an outfielder in the major leagues, all with the Baltimore Orioles. During a two-year stint with the Nashville Elite Giants, famed Baltimore scout Jim Russo spotted him and signed him to a contract with the Orioles' organization. After four years in the minor leagues, Bowens finally cracked Baltimore's roster in 1963. He hit .333 in 48 at-bats, helping him earn a fulltime job the following year. Bowens batted .263 with 22 home runs and 71 RBIs for the O's in 1964, but never again matched that level of success. A slow start in 1965 resulted in a demotion to the minor leagues. Even after subsequently returning to the big leagues, Bowens failed to raise his batting average above the .210 mark in any single season.

Tadayoshi Kajioka (Died on March 23 in Urayasu, Japan; age 82): One of the best pitchers in the Japanese Leagues in the 1940s and fifties, Kajioka was the second Japanese pitcher to throw a no-hitter after World War II. In making his debut in 1947, he won 22 of 30 decisions and posted a 1.92 ERA. Five years later, Kajioka finished the Japanese season with the best ERA of any pitcher in his league.

Al Gionfriddo (Died on March 14 in Solvang, Calif.; age 81; collapsed while playing golf): Gionfriddo played only three seasons in the major leagues, but he was more famous than most journeymen players because of the dramatic catch he made against Joe DiMaggio in the 1947 World Series. Playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers as a late-inning defensive replacement, Gionfriddo flagged down a 415-foot drive to left field at Yankee Stadium, robbing DiMaggio of an extra-base hit and preserving an 8-6 win for the "Bums" in Game Six of the Series. Gionfriddo's remarkable catch inspired one of the most memorable play-by-play calls in baseball history, as delivered by Dodgers radio broadcaster Red Barber. "Here's the pitch," Barber described to his listening audience. "Swung on, belted. It's a long one deep to the left center. Back goes Gionfriddo. Back, back, back, back, back, back. He makes a one-handed catch against the bullpen. Oh, doctor." Although Gionfriddo's miraculous grab saved Game Six and infuriated DiMaggio (who kicked at the ground near second base), the Dodgers went on to lose the Series. Still, Gionfriddo remained famous for making one of the most acrobatic catches in postseason history, a play that is still talked about with the same kind of reverence used to describe World Series catches by Sandy Amoros and Joe Rudi. The sixth game of the '47 World Series also marked the end of Gionfriddo's playing days, as he never again played in a major league game. Gionfriddo, who sat on the bench all of Game Seven, was then sent back to the minor leagues during the spring of 1948… Gionfriddo spent his first two big league seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, before joining the Dodgers in 1947. At 5'6", Gionfriddo had tremendous range in the outfield, but little power at the plate, finishing his career with only two home runs in 580 at-bats. He batted only .266 lifetime, but did boast a career on-base percentage of .366.

Harry Eisenstat (Died on March 21 in Shaker Heights, Ohio; age 87): Eisenstat had a losing record during a major league career that spanned from 1935 to 1942, but he is best remembered for defeating Hall of Famer Bob Feller in the final game of the 1938 season. Feller struck out 18 Detroit Tigers that day, but Eisenstat pitched no-hit ball through seven innings on the way to earning a 4-1 victory over Feller and the Cleveland Indians. Impressed by his performance, the Indians acquired Eisenstat the following season, in exchange for Hall of Fame outfielder Earl Averill. Eisenstat also pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers, his first major league team, during a career that saw him post a win-loss record of 25-27.

Joe Buzas (Died on March 19 in Salt Lake City, Utah; age 87; long illness): A former major league player and minor league owner, Buzas was the New York Yankees' Opening Day shortstop in 1945. A shoulder injury cut short his career, limiting him to 30 major league games. Buzas remained active in baseball, becoming a manager in Puerto Rico before making the transition to ownership. He purchased his first minor league franchise in 1956, buying the Allentown Red Sox for $25,000 and eventually moving the team to Bristol, Connecticut. In 1983, Buzas moved the franchise to New Britain and watched the club claim the Eastern League championship while showcasing a young pitcher named Roger Clemens. Buzas also owned the Pacific Coast League's Salt Lake Stingers, who led the league in attendance during Buzas' first six years of operation. The Salt Lake and New Britain franchises were just two of about 60 minor league teams that Buzas operated at one time or another.

Alta Cohen (Died on March 11; age 94): Nicknamed "Schoolboy," Cohen was one of the oldest living alumni of the Brooklyn Dodgers. After earning Triple-A all-star status with the Toledo Mud Hens, the left-handed hitting outfielder made his major league debut for the Dodgers in 1931, picking up two hits in three at-bats. Cohen played nine more games for Brooklyn the following season, before wrapping up his career in 1933 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Mickey McGowan (Died on March 8 in Georgia; age 81): The tall left-hander made three appearances in the major leagues, pitching for the New York Giants in 1947. He struggled in three and two-thirds innings, posting an ERA of 7.36. McGowan had been a successful pitcher in the minor leagues, winning a league-leading 22 games for Atlanta of the Southern Association in 1946.

Al Libke (Died on March 7 in Wenatchee, Wash.; age 84): Libke was a pitcher and outfielder who played two seasons for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1940s. Making his major league debut during the war-torn year of 1945, Libke batted .283 with 53 RBIs and also pitched briefly in relief, hurling four scoreless innings. After his final major league stint in 1946, Libke returned to the minor leagues for three more seasons.

Mickey Kreitner (Died on March 6 in Nashville, Tenn.; age 80; complications from open heart surgery): A catcher in the 1940s, Kreitner played 32 games for the Chicago Cubs in 1943 and '44, hitting .172 with no home runs and three RBIs. After his playing days, Kreitner became a successful and diversified restaurateur, owning 39 establishments over a span of 43 years.

Joe Decker (Died on March 2; age 55; head injuries suffered in a fall): A right-handed pitcher whose career spanned most of the 1970s, Decker played nine major league seasons, mostly with the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins. He reached his peak in 1974, when he won 16 games and posted a 3.29 ERA for Minnesota. He also enjoyed a 10-win season in 1973. His major league career came to an end in 1979, after a nine-game stint with the Seattle Mariners.

Jim Fridley (Died on Feb. 28; age 78): Nicknamed "Big Jim," the 6'2", 205-pound Fridley played exclusively as an outfielder during a scattershot three-year career in the 1950s. He debuted for the Cleveland Indians in 1952, played for the Baltimore Orioles in 1954, and then finished his career with the Cincinnati Red Legs in 1958.

Rusty Peters (Died on Feb. 21; age 82): The good-field, no-hit Peters played 10 seasons in the major leagues, mostly as a utility infielder. He enjoyed his best offensive season in his final year (1947), batting .340 in 47 at-bats. Curiously, Peters never played in the majors again, finishing his career with four seasons in the American Association.

Steve Bechler (Died on Feb. 17; age 23; complications from heatstroke): The young Baltimore Orioles' right-hander died less than 24 hours after collapsing during a workout at the team's spring training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bechler's body temperature rose to 108 degrees, causing several of his internal organs to fail. As indicated in a report by the Broward County medical examiner, Bechler had been taking the dietary supplement Xenadrine RFA-1, which contains the controversial stimulant, ephedrine. The FDA has linked ephedrine, which has been banned by the NFL, the NCAA, and the International Olympic Committee, to heatstroke and heart disease. According to his mother, Bechler had a history of heat-related illnesses, having suffered heatstroke on two occasions during his high school career. Bechler had made his major league debut in 2002-pitching in three games and allowing seven earned runs in four and two-thirds innings-and was trying to make the Orioles' Opening Day roster this spring.

Wally Burnette (Died on Feb. 12 in Danville, Va.; age 73; cancer): A member of the Kansas City A's for three years during the pre-Charlie Finley years, Burnette notched a 3.56 ERA and a record of 14-21 in the major leagues. In his rookie season of 1956, Burnette pitched mostly as a starter, completing four games and compiling an overall mark of 6-8. He then pitched primarily in relief the next two seasons.

Haywood Sullivan (Died on Feb. 12; age 72; effects of a stroke): A controversial figure in the city of Boston, the multi-talented Sullivan worked at most every level of baseball, starting out his career as a player before becoming a manager and then an owner. A catcher throughout his playing days, Sullivan made his major league debut in 1955, when he was called up to the Boston Red Sox. He remained with the Red Sox intermittently through 1960, before joining the Kansas City Athletics. Within two years after his catching days ended, Sullivan became the A's manager. He lasted part of one season (1965)-forging a record of 54-82-before rejoining the Red Sox organization as director of player personnel. A few years after the death of Tom Yawkey, Sullivan became a part owner of the Red Sox, along with Jean Yawkey and Buddy LeRoux. Filling the dual role of owner and general manager, Sullivan drew the ire of Red Sox fans when he failed to mail a contract offer-as mandated by a deadline-to the team's star catcher, Carlton Fisk. The missed deadline allowed Fisk to become a free agent under a technicality, resulting in his departure to the Chicago White Sox. Two years later, Sullivan saw his tenure as general manager come to an end when LeRoux became sole owner and then fired him as general manager, a move that Sullivan contested in court. Sullivan also drew media criticism, specifically cries of nepotism, after the Red Sox drafted and signed his son, Marc, eventually bringing him up to the major league roster despite mediocre accomplishments as a minor leaguer.

Dick Whitman (Died on Feb. 12; age 82; massive heart attack): A veteran of two World Series and six seasons, Whitman played primarily as a backup outfielder and pinch-hitter for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. He reached the Series in 1949 with the Dodgers and in 1950 with the Phillies, but his teams lost both Series to the New York Yankees. As part of the "Whiz Kids" in 1950, Whitman led the National League with 12 pinch-hits in 39 at-bats, giving him a batting average of .308 in such off-the-bench situations. Whitman also spent time as a minor league teammate of Roberto Clemente during a later stint with the Montreal Royals.

Charles Aleno (Died on Feb. 10 in Deland, Fla.; age 85): A versatile infielder-outfielder, Aleno played four seasons for the Cincinnati Reds during the World War II years. In 320 at-bats, the light-hitting Aleno batted only .209 with two home runs and 34 RBIs. He played all four infield positions, along with the outfield, during a span of 118 games.

Ralph Beard (Died on Feb. 10 in West Palm Beach, Florida; age 73): This right-hander pitched one season in the major leagues, losing all four of his decisions in 1954. In 13 games and 58 innings for the St. Louis Cardinals, Beard forged an ERA of 3.72.

Billy Parker (Died on Feb. 9; age 56; cancer): A hard-hitting middle infield phenom in the minor leagues, Parker played for parts of three seasons with the California Angels. In 1971, he drove in 115 runs and batted .306 for the Angels' affiliate at Salt Lake City, with the highlight of his season coming on May 29, when he hit three home runs in consecutive at-bats. His performance with Salt Lake City earned him a call-up to California, where his first major league hit was a two-out, game-winning home run in the 12th inning. Yet Parker otherwise struggled during his brief major league stints. Following the 1973 season, the New York Yankees drafted Parker from the Angels, but the young second baseman failed to make the big league roster. After returning to the minor leagues, Parker finished his career in the Mexican League.

Bobby Bragan Jr. (Died on Feb. 7; age 59; effects of a heart attack): The son of the former major league catcher and manager, the younger Bragan had worked extensively in the minor leagues as the general manager of the Jacksonville Suns and owner of the Elmira Pioneers. Prior to his front office career, Bragan played two seasons in the minor leagues, playing for franchises in the Florida State and Carolina leagues. Stokes Hendrix (Died on Feb. 5; age 89): Hendrix pitched briefly in the Negro Leagues, toiling for the Nashville Elites in 1934.

James Mertz (Died on Feb. 4 in Waycross, Ga.; age 86): After a five-year stint in the minor leagues, this right-handed pitcher spent one season in the major leagues before retiring and serving in World War II. Pitching for the Washington Senators in 1943, Mertz compiled a record of 5-7 with an ERA of 4.62.

Jack Hays (Died on Jan. 30; age 48; leukemia): At the time of his death, Hays worked as a western regional scout for the Detroit Tigers. He had previously coached and played in the minor leagues.

Bob Kammeyer (Died on Jan. 27; age 52; pulmonary embolism): At one time the top pitching prospect for the New York Yankees, Kammeyer pitched in seven games for the 1978 World Champions, but was not eligible for that fall's World Series. In 1979, Kammeyer made his final big league appearance, which turned out be his most memorable-albeit for the wrong reason. Summoned from the bullpen by Yankee manager Billy Martin, Kammeyer allowed eight runs-including two home runs-without retiring a single Cleveland Indians batter. After the game, a sympathetic Martin gave $100 to Kammeyer and another struggling pitcher, Paul Mirabella, and told them to enjoy the night out. Kammeyer pitched his final professional season in 1980, sporting a record of 15-7 and an ERA of 2.91 for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. In spite of his success that season, Kammeyer opted to retire.

Toby Atwell (Died on Jan. 25 in Purcellville, Va.; age 78): A left-handed hitting catcher with the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Milwaukee Braves, Atwell broke into the major leagues in 1952 by hitting an impressive .290 in 395 at-bats. He never achieved such success again-or received as much playing time-during a five-year career in the National League.

Jack Rogers (Died on Jan. 25; age 87): The traveling secretary for the Boston Red Sox from 1969 to 1991, Rogers made travel arrangements for the team's players, coaches, and their families. Prior to joining the Red Sox, Rogers worked in public relations for the Boston Braves. During World War II, Rogers served as a Navy pilot aboard an aircraft carrier.

Dutch Meyer (Died on Jan. 19; age 87): A six-year veteran of the major leagues, Meyer played second base for the Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, and Cleveland Indians. He enjoyed his best full season in 1945, when he hit .292 with seven home runs for Cleveland.

Phil McCullough (Died on Jan. 16 in Decatur, Ga.; age 85): McCullough pitched one game in his major league career, lasting three innings for the Washington Senators in 1942. A right-handed pitcher, he struck out two batters and allowed two runs in his lone big league appearance.

Earl Lawson (Died on Jan. 14; age 79; cancer): The winner of the Hall of Fame's J.G. Taylor Spink Award (given to an outstanding baseball writer) in 1986, Lawson covered the Cincinnati Reds for 34 seasons. He first became a fulltime baseball writer for the Cincinnati Times-Star in 1951, before joining the Cincinnati Post in 1958. Known for holding strong opinions and featuring a tough, old-school approach, Lawson worked at the Post until retiring in 1984.

John Ritchey (Died on Jan. 14; age 80): A onetime batting champion in the Negro Leagues, Ritchey starred for the Chicago American Giants before embarking on a seven-year stint in the Pacific Coast League. In 1947, the hard-hitting catcher led the Negro American League with a .381 batting mark. He moved on to the PCL the following season.

Ernie Rudolph (Died on Jan. 13; age 93): The diminutive 5' 8" right-hander made seven appearances for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945, when he finally made the major leagues at the age of 36. Rudolph picked up one win for the Dodgers, posting a 5.19 ERA in eight and two-thirds innings. After his playing days, Rudolph scouted for the Braves and Cubs organizations.

Durwood Merrill (Died on Jan. 11; age 64; complications from heart attack): One of the most colorful umpires of his era, Merrill worked as an American League arbiter for 23 years. His assignments included the 1988 World Series and the 1984 and 1995 All-Star games. Merrill, who was often criticized for his umpiring, was known for feuding with Nestor Chylak, the American League's supervisor of umpires and previously an umpire himself. Merrill discussed the feud in his book, You're Out and You're Ugly Too. Off the field, Merrill drew praise for his extensive charity work, often putting in long hours at Christmas time to feed the poor in his native Texarkana, Texas.

Don Landrum (Died on Jan. 9; age 66): Landrum, a journeyman outfielder who played five seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants, was best remembered for being part of a major four-player trade in the mid-1960s. After the 1965 season, the Cubs dealt Landrum and relief ace Lindy McDaniel to the San Francisco Giants for catcher Randy Hundley and pitcher Bill Hands.

Ed Albosta (Died on Jan. 6; age 84): Nicknamed "Rube," Albosta pitched two seasons in the major leagues sandwiched around the World War II years. He debuted in 1941 with the Brooklyn Dodgers and then wrapped up his career with a 17-game stint for the Pirates in 1946. Albosta lost all eight of his major league decisions.

Jarvis Tatum (Died on Jan. 6 in Los Angeles, Calif.; age 56): Tatum played three seasons in the major leagues, mostly for the California Angels. In Oct. of 1970, the Angels included him in the trade that brought former Boston Red Sox star Tony Conigliaro to Southern California.

Joe Ostrowski (Died on Jan. 3; age 86): The former St. Louis Browns' left-hander pitched for five seasons in the major leagues, including a stint with the New York Yankees. Nicknamed "Specs" and "Professor," Ostrowski hurled two scoreless innings in the 1951 World Series, as the Yankees claimed the World Championship.

Harry Smith (Died on Jan. 3; age 75): Smith was a part-time scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles for 18 years before finally landing a fulltime job with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1978. After a 14-year tenure with the Brewers, Smith also worked for the California Angels and Boston Red Sox before retiring in the year 2000. Smith's son, Chris Smith, played three seasons in the major leagues in the early 1980s.

Jim Westlake (Died on Jan. 3; age 72): Westlake's major league career consisted of one at-bat (0-for-1) with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1955. He also played for several seasons in the Pacific Coast League, starring for the Sacramento Solons and San Francisco Seals.

Bud Metheny (Died on Jan. 2; age 87): The longtime baseball coach at Old Dominion University, Metheny also spent four seasons in the major leagues as an outfielder. During his 32 years at Old Dominion, he went 423-363-6 and was named national coach of the year in 1964. Metheny was one of the last players to wear No. 3 for the New York Yankees, before the franchise retired the number in honor of Babe Ruth in 1948.


Frank Reiber, 93, passed away on Dec. 26, 2002 in Bradenton, Fla. He debuted in 1933 and played four seasons with the Detroit Tigers, retiring in 1936.

George Bullard, 74, passed away Dec 23, 2002 in Lynn, Mass. He played for one season with Detroit.

Claude Crocker, 78, passed away on Dec. 19, 2002 in Clinton, S.C. He debuted in 1944 and played two seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers retiring in 1945.

Wesley "Garvin" Hamner, 79, passed away on Dec. 15, 2003 in Richmond, Virginia. He debuted in 1945 and played one season for the Philadelphia Phillies. Hank Arft, 80, passed away Dec. 14, 2002 in St. Louis, Mo. He played for five seasons debuting in 1948 and playing for St. Louis.

Mike Kosman, 85, passed away Dec. 10, 2002 (his birthday) in Lafayette, Ind. He played one season in 1944 for Cincinnati.

Earl Henry, 85, passed away Dec. 10, 2002 in Zanesville, Ohio. He played for two years with Cleveland.

Homer Spragins, 82, passed away Dec. 10, 2002 in Minter City, Miss. He played for one season in 1947 with Philadelphia.

Johnny Lazor, 90, passed away Dec. 9, 2002 in Renton, Wash. He played for four seasons with Boston.

Clarence Beers, 84, passed away on December 6, 2002 in Tucson, Arizona. He debuted in 1948 and played one season for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Mel Harder, 93, passed away Oct. 20, 2002 in Chardon, Ohio. He played 20 seasons for the Cleveland Indians, appearing in four All-Star Games.

Joseph “Jodie” Beeler, 80, passed away on Oct. 8, 2002 in Mesquite, Texas. He played one season in 1944 with the Cincinnati Reds.

Eddie McGah, 81, passed away Sept. 30, 2002 (his birthday) in Oakland, Calif. He played two seasons for the Boston Red Sox.

Don Carlsen, 76, passed away Sept. 22, 2002 in Denver, Colo. He played three years in the big leagues debuting with the Chicago Cubs in 1948 and playing two years with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Eddie Shokes, 82, passed away Sept. 14, 2002 in Winchester, Va. He played for two seasons with Cincinnati debuting in 1941.

Jim McKee, 55, passed away Sept. 14, 2002 in Pickaway County, Ohio. He played two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Jimmy Constable, 69, passed away on September 4, 2002, in Johnson City, Tennessee. He debuted in 1956 and played for the New York Giants, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, and Milwaukee Braves. He retired in 1963.

Hoyt Wilhelm, 79, passed away Aug. 23, 2002. Wilhelm was the first reliever elected to the Hall of Fame and the last pitcher to throw a no-hitter against the New York Yankees. Wilhelm played from 1952-72 and when he retired, he held the Major League record for games pitched at 1,070. On April 23, 1952, Wilhelm hit a home run in his first Major League at-bat, connecting for the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. That turned out to be Wilhelm's only career homer. Wilhelm was 143-122 with 227 saves and a 2.52 ERA for nine teams. He played mostly for the New York Giants, Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox. Wilhelm was elected to the Hall in 1985. Rollie Fingers is the only other reliever in the Hall.

John Roseboro, 69, passed away Aug. 19, 2002. Roseboro, who succeeded Roy Campanella as the Dodgers' full-time catcher, played for Los Angeles from 1957-67 and was a four-time All-Star. He was the starting catcher in the 1959, 1963, 1965 and 1966 World Series, with the Dodgers winning the championship the first three times.

Jimmy Bloodworth, 85, passed away Aug. 17, 2002. Bloodworth played 11 seasons for the Senators, Tigers, Pirates, Reds and Phillies from 1937-51. In 1943 with Detroit he set a since-broken AL record by grounding into 29 double plays.

Arnie Moser, 87, passed away Aug. 15, 2002. Moser played five games in 1937 for the Cincinnati Reds.

Enos Slaughter, 86, passed away Aug. 12, 2002. The Hall of Famer batted .300 in 19 seasons and played in five World Series. He spent the first 13 years of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Slaughter is best remembered for his "Mad Dash" from first base that scored the winning run for the Cardinals against the Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 1946 World Series.

Willis Hudlin, 96, passed away Aug. 5, 2002. Hudlin played in Cleveland for 15 of his 16 seasons in the Majors giving up Babe Ruth's 500th home run on Aug. 11, 1929 at League Park. Hudlin had a 158-156 career record with 154 complete games. He was also the Detroit Tigers' pitching coach and scouted for the Yankees from 1960-1974.

Darrell Porter, 50, passed away Aug. 5, 2002. Porter caught for four Major League teams and was the MVP of the 1982 World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals. He broke into the Majors in 1971 with the Milwaukee Brewers, who traded him to the Royals after the 1976 season. He was an All-Star twice in his four years with Kansas City.

Mike Payne, 40, passed away Aug. 4, 2002. Payne pitched 5.2 innings for the Atlanta Braves in 1984 and posted a 6.35 ERA. He had been battling eastern equine encephalitis, a virus found in horses and birds throughout Florida but a rarity in humans.

Jack Tighe, 88, passed away Aug. 1, 2002. Tighe spent 52 years in baseball including serving as the Detroit manager in 1957 when the team finished fourth with a 78-76 record. In 1958, the Tigers started out 21-28 and were in fifth place when he was fired and replaced by Bill Norman. Tighe's Major League record was a total of 99-104.

Steve Souchock, 83, passed away July 28, 2002. Souchock played for seven years (1946-54) in the Majors with the Yankees, White Sox and Tigers. After retiring he was also a scout for the Yankees and Tigers for more than 35 years.

Frank "Spec" Shea, 81, passed away July 19, 2002. Shea was a pitcher from 1947-1955 with the Yankees and Washington Senators. Shea accumulated 56 career wins, with 48 complete games and 12 shutouts. In 1947, he won two games for the World Champion Yankees. He was also selected to the All-Star team that year.

Del Wilber, 83, passed away July 18, 2002. Wilber was a catcher from 1946-1954 primarily with the Cardinals. After his playing career ended, he coached three years with the Chicago White Sox and then went on to scout for the Baltimore Orioles. In 1970, Wilber served as a coach for the Washington Senators while Ted Williams, a former teammate, managed the club.

Arthur Lee Maye, 77, passed away July 17, 2002. Maye, an outfielder, played 13 seasons from 1959-1971 with the Milwaukee Braves, Astros, Indians, Senators and White Sox. He hit .300 or better three times in his career and had a total of 94 home runs and 419 RBIs.

Ted Williams, 83, passed away July 5, 2002. Williams played 19 big league seasons in the outfield. He was a 17 time All-Star, two time Triple Crown winner, and the last man to hit above .400 in a season. Williams was a two-time league MVP and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.

Earl Francis, 66, passed away July 3, 2002. Francis played from 1960-65 with the Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-handed pitcher earned 16 total wins over his career. His best season was in 1962 when he had nine wins with five complete games and one shutout.

Pete Gray, 87, passed away June 30, 2002. Gray played one season with the St. Louis Browns in 1945. Gray hit .218 with 27 RBIs and 11 stolen bases that season.

Ralph Erickson, 100, passed away June 27, 2002. He played two Major League seasons in 1929 and 1930 as a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Erickson made his Major League debut at age 27 and ended his career with a record of 1-0.

Joe Antolick, 85, passed away on June 25, 2002 in Catasququa, Pa. He played one season in 1944 with Philadelphia.

Darryl Kile, 33, passed away June 22, 2002. Kile began his Major League career in 1991 with the Houston Astros. He played for Colorado in 1998 and 1999 before heading to St. Louis for the 2000 season. Kile was a three-time All-Star and recorded 128 career wins with 28 complete games and nine shutouts.

Ron Kline, 70, passed away June 22, 2002. Kline was a right-handed pitcher from 1955–70 with the Pirates, Cardinals, Angels, Tigers, Senators, Twins, Giants, Red Sox and Braves. In 1965, he led the American League in saves with 29 for the Washington Senators. Kline had a very unique pitching ritual over the course of his career. Before each pitch he would touch his cap, belt and shirt. He recorded 114 career wins along with 108 saves.

Jack Jenkins, 59, died June 18, 2002. Jenkins pitched in 26.2 innings over the course or three seasons with the Senators and Dodgers.

Hank Boney, 94, passed away June 11, 2002. Boney, a right-handed pitcher, played in 68 games of the 1927 season for the New York Giants. Before he passed, Boney was one of only nine survivors that played Major League Baseball in the 1920s.

Sam Page, 86, passed away May 29, 2002. Page pitched in four games in 1939 with the Philadelphia Athletics. He also played and managed multiple teams in the textile baseball league.

Jim "Big Stick" McCurine passed away May 28, 2002. McCurine was a big slugger in the Negro Leagues from 1946-49. Over three years, he averaged 20-25 home runs a year. In 1946, he hit a career high .296.

Wes Westrum, 79, passed away May 28, 2002. Westrum played for the New York Giants from 1947-57 and was an All-Star catcher in 1952 and '53. A member of the 1954 World Series Champions, Westrum hit 23 home runs and 71 RBIs in 1950.

Joseph Thomas Cascarella, 94, passed away May 22, 2002. Cascarella played from 1934-38 primarily with the Philadelphia Athletics and Cincinnati Reds. He recorded 27 wins in five Major League seasons. Cascarella was the last surviving member of the 1934 U.S. All-Star team that toured Japan who included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmy Foxx.

Paul Giel, 69, passed away May 22, 2002. Giel pitched six seasons with the New York Giants, San Fransisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Athletics and Minnesota Twins. Giel had a career record of 11-9, appearing in 102 games.

Fritz Ackley, 65, passed away May 22, 2002. Ackley pitched 37 games over two seasons with the Chicago White Sox from 1963-64. He finished with a career record of 1-0.

Warren Hacker, 77, passed away May 22, 2002. Hacker pitched for 12 seasons with the Cubs, Phillies and White Sox. During his time in the Major Leagues, he accumulated 62 wins and 17 saves. Hacker's best year was 1952 when he went 15-9 with five shutouts and a 2.58 ERA.

Dr. John F. "Bob" Poser, 92, passed away on May 21, 2002. Poser pitched for the Chicago White Sox in 1932 and the St. Louis Browns in 1935. Poser had a career 1-1 record appearing in four Major League games.

William "Bobby" Robinson passed away May 17, 2002. Robinson played in the Negro Leagues from 1925-41. In 1929, he hit a career high .309 for the season. He appeared in the Negro National League playoffs in 1929 and 1930.

Joe Black, 78, passed away May 17, 2002. Black played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first black pitcher to win a World Series game. Black was 28 when he reached the Majors after helping the Baltimore Elite Giants of the Negro Leagues win two championships in seven years. He roomed with Jackie Robinson while with Brooklyn, pushed for a pension plan for Negro League players, and was instrumental in the inclusion of players who played before 1947. He was dominant out of the bullpen, chosen Rookie of the Year in 1952 after winning 15 games and saving 15 others for the National League champions.

Steve Rachunok, 61, passed away May 11, 2002. Nicknamed "The Mad Russian", Rachunok made his Major League debut in 1940 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He appeared in two games, pitching 10 innings with 10 strikeouts. He posted an 0-1 record and 4.50 ERA.

Sam Dente, 79, passed away April 21, 2002. Dente broke into the Majors with the Boston Red Sox in 1947, then spent a year with the St. Louis Browns. After three seasons with the Washington Senators and two with the Chicago White Sox, he moved to the Cleveland Indians in 1954 and was a part-time player on the team that won 111 games. His Major League career ended with the Indians in 1955. He had a career batting average of .252.

Jim Gallagher, 97, passed away April 9, 2002. Gallagher was the manager of the Chicago Cubs for a brief period and later worked in the Commissioner's office. Gallagher helped develop the pension plan for Major League Baseball as well as the free agency rule.

Thomas Sunkel, 89, passed away April 6, 2002. Sunkel pitched from 1937-1944 with the Cardinals, Giants and Dodgers. He managed nine career wins in the Majors despite only having sight in one eye.

Paul Erickson, 86, passed away April 5, 2002. He was a right-handed pitcher for the Chicago Cubs from 1941–48. Over his Major League career, Paul racked up 37 wins, six saves and five shutouts. Erickson pitched in the 1945 World Series where the Cubs lost in seven games to the Detroit Tigers.

Warren "Sheriff" Robinson, 80, passed away April 5, 2002. Robinson was a catcher and manager in the minor leagues. After coaching, he was a scout for the Mets. Robinson had a hand in assembling the 1969 World Champion "Miracle Mets." Robinson was later inducted in to the Middle Atlantic Major League Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame.

Karl Swanson, 101, passed away April 3, 2002. Swanson played professional baseball from 1922-36 and with the Chicago White Sox in 1928 and 1929 as a second baseman.

Roy Nichols, 81, passed away April 3, 2002. Nichols played second base in 11 games with the Giants in 1944.

William "Whitey" Wietelmann, 83, passed away March 26, 2002. Nicknamed "Whitey" by Casey Stangl, he played nine seasons as an infielder with the Boston Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Mace Brown, 92, passed away March 24, 2002. Brown played for Pittsburgh, Brooklyn and Boston during his 10-year career. He finished with a 76-57 record and 48 saves in 387 games, compiling a 3.47 ERA. He played in the World Series with the Dodgers in 1941 and the Red Sox in 1946. One of his best seasons came in 1938 when Brown posted a 15-9 record, appearing in a league-leading 51 games, and posted a 3.80 ERA. He finished ninth in the MVP voting that season and also appeared in the All-Star Game.

Minnie Rojas, 63, passed away March 24, 2002. Rojas was born in Cuba and collected 43 career saves in 157 games over three seasons. His career ended after the 1968 season when he was paralyzed in an automobile accident. The accident killed his two daughters, but his wife and son survived.

Roman "Lefty" Bertrand, 93, passed away March 17, 2002. Bertrand played for one season with the Phillies in 1936.

Steve Gromek, 82, passed away March 12, 2002. A right-handed pitcher with an outstanding fastball, Gromek won 19 games for the Cleveland Indians in 1945 and had 123 career victories in 17 seasons with the Indians and Detroit Tigers.

Al Cowens passed away March 11, 2002 at the age of 50. One of the top Kansas City Royals outfielders in club history, Cowens won a Gold Glove in 1977 and batted .312 on what many consider to be the best Royals team in the franchise's existence. Coming off of what would be his best season with the Royals, Cowens finished second in the balloting to Rod Carew for the American League's Most Valuable Player. Cowens is survived by his wife of 30 years, Velma, four children and several grandchildren.

Ted Sepkowski, 78, passed away March 8, 2002 at the age of 78. Sepkowski played in 19 games in his Mjor League career that began in Cleveland in 1942 and ended in New York in 1947. He served in the military from 1944-45 and returned to the Majors with Cleveland in 1946 for two games.

Mickey Haslin, 92, passed away March 7, 2002. Haslin played six seasons from 1933-38, playing shortstop and third base for the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Braves, and New York Giants. Haslin played in the first Major League night game and Babe Ruth's last game.

Clay Smith, 87, passed away March 5, 2002. His first appearance in the Major Leagues came in 1938 as a member of the Cleveland Indians. He appeared in four games that season and pitched a total of 11 innings. In 1940, he reappeared with the Tigers and finished with a 1-1 record in 14 games. Smith entered Game 4 of the 1940 World Series with the Tigers down in the third inning. He allowed a single earned run in four innings, but the Tigers could not comeback.

Dykes Potter, 91, passed away Feb. 27, 2002. Potter made his Major League debut on April 26, 1938 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He pitched two innings in two games and recorded one strikeout with an ERA of 4.50.

William Faul passed away Feb. 21, 2002. Faul played in the Major Leagues from 1962-70 with the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants. Faul is survived by his son, his brother, and five nieces and nephews.

Mike Darr, San Diego Padres outfielder, died in an automobile accident Feb. 15, 2002. Darr is survived by his wife and two sons, Mike Jr. and Matthew.

Frank Crosetti passed away Feb. 11, 2002 at the age of 91. Crosetti was a two-time All-Star shortstop and played on eight World Series Championship teams during his 17-year playing career. After retiring as a player, Crosetti coached third base for 20 years during which he experienced 15 World Series.

Joe Peden passed away Feb. 11, 2002 at the age of 78. Peden played nine games as a catcher for the Washington Senators in 1953.

Jim Spencer passed away Feb. 10, 2002 at the age of 54. Spencer was an All-Star in 1973, Gold Glove winner in 1970 and 1977, and a member of the 1978 World Series Champion New York Yankees. Spencer played Major League Baseball for 15 years and continued as a scout for the Yankees and assistant coach at the Naval Academy.

Steve Roser, 83, passed away Feb. 8, 2002. Roser was 4-3 for the New York Yankees in 1944 and 0-0 in 1945. He started the 1946 season with the Yankees before being acquired by the Boston Braves. Roser compiled a 2-2 record in 38 innings in 1946.

Andy Hansen, 77, passed away Feb. 3, 2002. Hansen pitched for nine seasons from 1944-53 with the Giants and Phillies. He had 23 wins and 16 saves over his Major League career.

Harry Chiti passed away Jan.31, 2002 at the age of 69. Chiti played in the big leagues from 1950-62 as a catcher with the Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Athletics, Detroit Tigers, and New York Mets.

Raymond Yochim passed away Jan.26, 2002 at the age of 79. Yochim pitched in the Major Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals. His three sons, a daughter, two brothers, a sister, and three grandchildren survive him.

Harry Marnie, 81, passed away Jan.7, 2002. Marnie was an infielder with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1940-42. In 1941, he hit a career high .241. After three seasons as a Major Leaguer, he ended up with a career average of .221.

Frederick Taylor passed away Jan.6, 2002 at the age of 75. Taylor played first base for the Washington Senators from 1950-1952.

Adrian Zabala Sr. passed away Jan.4, 2002 at the age of 85. Zabala pitched for the New York Giants in the early 1940s. His wife, a son and daughter, and four grandchildren survive him.

Al Smith passed away Jan.3, 2002 at the age of 73. Smith was a career .272 hitter during his time with the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, and Boston Red Sox. Smith also participated in two All-Star games and two World Series. His wife, Mildred, four children, and eleven grandchildren survive him.

Luis Alvarado, 52, passed away on March 20, 2001 in Lajas, Puerto Rico. He debuted in 1968 and played three seasons with the Boston Red Sox, four seasons with the Chicago White Sox, one season with St. Louis and retired in 1977 with the New York Mets.

Leslie Floyd, 83, passed away on Dec. 15, 2000 in Dallas, Texas. He debuted in 1944 and played one season with the Detroit Tigers.

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