Recent Passings

Bob Bruce, Astros' starting pitcher in first Astrodome official game, dies

By Matt Young
The Houston Chronicle
Thursday, March 16, 2017 9:23 AM EDT

Bob Bruce, the man who was the starting pitcher in the last game at Houston's Colt Stadium and the first official game at the Astrodome, died Wednesday at the age of 83.

Bruce was one of the original members of the Colt .45s, joining the team in its inaugural season in 1962 after three seasons with the Detroit Tigers.

He won a team-high 10 games – tying Turk Farrell – in the franchise's opening season. He was the first Houston pitcher to win 15 games when he did that in 1964. He also had a 22-inning shutout streak during that season.

Because of his strong 1964 season, Bruce was picked to be the Opening Day starter the next season when the Astrodome opened and the franchise was given the new Astros moniker.

"As a member of the original Colt .45s team, Bob Bruce will always have a special place in the history of our organization, playing a significant role in several milestone moments ..." the Astros said in a statement released Thursday. "He was a popular player both on and off the field and helped solidify the Astros as a Major League franchise in the early years. We send our heartfelt condolences to Bob's many friends, family members and fans."

In five seasons in Houston, Bruce went 42-58 with a 3.78 ERA.

After the 1966 season, the Astros traded Bruce with Dave Nicholson to the Atlanta Braves for Eddie Matthews, Arnold Umbach and a player to be named later - who turned out to be Sandy Alomar.

Bruce pitched one season for the Braves before retiring after a nine-year major league career.

Orient resident, MLB 20-game winner Bill Hands dies at 76

Tim Gannon
The Suffolk Times
March 9, 2017 4:53 PM EST

Longtime Orient resident and former Major League 20-game winner William Hands Jr. died Thursday in Florida.

The former Chicago Cubs pitcher and longtime owner of the Orient Service Station on Main Road was 76 years old.

“The gas station was like the barber shop in ‘Andy Griffith,” Orient resident Carol Gillooly said of Mr. Hands’ business. “Everybody would be trying to solve the problems of the world and talking about baseball.”

Mr. Hands, who was born in Hackensack, N.J., spent 11 seasons in the majors, including seven years as a right-handed pitcher with the Cubs. He also spent short stints with the San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers, winning 111 games with a career earned run average of 3.35.

In 1969 he pitched to a 20-14 record and 2.49 ERA pitching for the Cubs, who were nine games ahead in first place in the National League East on Aug. 13, but ended up losing the division to the eventual champion New York Mets.

Mr. Hands grew up in Rutherford, but summered in Orient, he said in an October 2015 interview with The Suffolk Times, which centered on the fact that the Cubs were playing the Mets in the playoffs (and eventually lost.)

“No one hated the Mets more than Billy Hands,” said Bill Fish, the golf pro at Islands End in Greenport, who played golf with Mr. Hands every Friday for the past five or six years from April to October. He still wore his Cubs hat and rooted for Chicago.

This past season, Mr. Hands got to see the Cubs finally win the World Series for the first since 1908.

“He was ecstatic about that, that’s for sure,” Mr. Fish said. “He stuck around long enough to see it. We were all happy about that.”

Mr. Fish said Mr. Hands was a long-time member of the golf club.

“He was an excellent athlete. He enjoyed golf and outdoors and fishing,” he said. “We hit it off. He was always good with a quick joke.”

Photos of Bill Hands in his playing days as seen inside his shop. (Credit: Chris Lisinski)

When it came to talking about baseball, Mr. Fish said, “You had to ask him questions, but he would definitely get going if you hit on a nerve. He wasn’t going to boast about anything, but if you brought up a subject he knew about, he had some good stories.”

Orient resident and former Suffolk Times publisher Troy Gustavson said he was a neighbor of Mr. Hands and mostly met him at his service station.

“We would chat and invariably, I would bring up the Cubs, because I couldn’t resist,” Mr. Gustavson said. “He was very low key about that, considering he played Major League Baseball and had one of the best seasons ever for a pitcher there. He was always very modest and low key.

He obviously was a loyal Cubs fan, but he didn’t really wear it on his sleeve, even when they won.”

Jeffrey Lyons of Orient, a film critic who has written several books about baseball, said in a Facebook post that baseball immortals like Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle would always make a gesture to show how “impossible” it was to hit Mr. Hands’ slider whenever his name came up.

Mr. Lyons said he will miss his friend.

“I will miss talking baseball with him, miss giving him the weekly baseball trivia sheet during the season and reminding him of obscure ‘cup-of-coffee-’ players who were teammates,” he wrote.

Ned F. Garver
December 25, 1925 ~ February 26, 2017

The Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home
February 28, 2017

Ned F. Garver, 91 years, of Bryan, Ohio, passed away Sunday evening, February 26, 2017 in the emergency room of Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers, Bryan. Ned was born to Arl and Susie (Connelly) Garver on December 25, 1925 in Ney, Ohio. He was a 1943 graduate of Ney High School.

He married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Sims on October 3, 1943. They had been married 51 years at the time of her passing on February 10, 1995. From that union came three children, all surviving, two sons, Don (Barbara) Garver and Ned Alan (Cindy) Garver, both of Bryan, Ohio and one daughter, Cheryl Garver of Defiance, Ohio. Ned was blessed with four grandchildren, Nicole Garver of Sarasota, Florida, Shane (Cris) Garver of Port Charlotte, Florida, Brianna (Keenan) Culler of Toluca Lake, California, and Chase (Meagan) Garver of Blacklick, Ohio. The newest member of the family, Penelope Rose Culler, is Ned’s first great-granddaughter.

On October 7, 2001, Ned and Dolores Hart were united in marriage in Ney, Ohio, and she also survives. Through this marriage, Ned welcomed his stepchildren into the family, Kevin Cottrell of Antwerp, Ohio, Tonya Cottrell of Las Vegas, Nevada and Tammy (Scott) Berenyi of Antwerp, Ohio. Stepson, Marty Cottrell preceded Ned in death. He was also preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Don Garver and Mark Garver; three sisters, Arlene Faye Garver, Maribel E. Duckworth and Alice J. Sims.

Growing up on a farm at the south edge of Ney, Ned and his brothers spent a lot of time playing baseball. Being challenged by two older brothers, Ned developed into a fine young ball player. After pitching his high school team to the state finals in 1943, he went on to Fort Wayne, Indiana and played for the “City Light” team. While there, he led that team to the National Tournament in Youngstown, Ohio. He pitched three games in that tournament, and was seen by four professional scouts. Ned was offered a contract by all four scouts and their professional teams. He chose to sign with the St. Louis Browns in 1943, first playing for the farm club, the” Toledo Mud Hens”. From Toledo, he was sent to Newark, Ohio to play for the “Newark Moundsmen”, where he won 24 games and lost 8 games in 1944. This marked his first year in the world of professional baseball.

Ned moved up to the big leagues in 1948 with the St. Louis Browns. He played for the Browns (1948 – 1952), then the Detroit Tigers (1952-1956), on to the Kansas City Athletics (1957-1960), and then ending his career with the Los Angeles Angels in 1961. With the Browns in 1951, he won 20 games…being the only pitcher in modern history to do so for a team that lost over 100 games. Also in 1951, he was the starting pitcher in the All Star Game, for the American League. Ned has been inducted into the “St. Louis Baseball Hall of Fame” and the “Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame”.

Retiring after 14 years in the Major Leagues, Ned then went to work for Dinner Bell Foods in Defiance, Ohio. During his time with Dinner Bell Foods, he was the Personnel Director for 14 years. Additionally, Ned served on the Ney Park Board, Ney Town Council and served as Mayor of Ney, Ohio for eight years.

Visitation for Ned F. Garver will be held Monday, March 6, 2017 from 2:00 – 4:00 and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home, Lynn Street Chapel, 206 North Lynn Street, Bryan. Funeral services for Ned will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 7, 2017 in the funeral home with Pastor Kevin King officiating. Private interment for the family will follow in Ney Cemetery, Ney, Ohio.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions be made to the Ney Church of God, 03415 State Route 15, Ney, Ohio 43549.

Harry W. MacPherson.
July 10, 1926 - February 19, 2017

Published in Herald Tribune from Feb. 22 to Feb. 23, 2017


Harry W. MacPherson, 90, passed away on February 19, 2017, in Englewood, Florida.
Whether he was on the golf course, enjoying a walk in the woods or taking to the ski slopes in New Hampshire, Harry MacPherson was a born athlete who believed life was best spent on the move. Sports enthusiast, animal and nature lover and caring father and husband, Harry will be dearly missed.

Harry was born in North Andover, Massachusetts. At the age of 17, he was one of the youngest players to be recruited to the National Baseball League. A right-handed pitcher for the Boston Braves (1944), Harry also played in the minor league for several teams, including Atlanta, Denver, Dallas and others, through 1952. He served in the Navy during World War II.

When he met his true love, Wanda Lee Kenney, he traded in baseball for family life and found a new career with New England Telephone. Harry spent 30 years with the phone company and retired as an engineer in 1984.

Harry and Wanda, who passed in 1997, enjoyed a long and fulfilling retirement in Florida. Their later years included many rounds of golf, beach picnics, beautiful sunsets, family visits, time with their three adored grandchildren and endless laughs and good times with dear friends.

Harry leaves three children, Donald MacPherson and his wife, Robin MacPherson, Jon MacPherson and Linda MacPherson Davidson; three beloved grandchildren, Brian MacPherson, Todd MacPherson and Mack Davidson; and his little Schnauzer, Dutchess.
A memorial celebration will be held in the spring. Expressions of sympathy, in lieu of flowers, can be made in Harry's memory to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation at Alzinfo.org.

Lemon Bay Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



Mike Ilitch, Little Caesars Founder and Detroit Sports Owner, Dies at 87

By Richard Goldstein
The New York Times
February 10, 2017

Mike Ilitch, a self-made son of immigrants who founded Little Caesars Pizza in a Detroit suburb and also owned baseball’s Tigers and hockey’s Red Wings, building a business, sports and entertainment empire that made him among America’s wealthiest men and helped change the face of his native city, died on Friday in Detroit. He was 87.

His death was announced by his company, Ilitch Holdings.

Mr. Ilitch and his wife, Marian, had a net worth of $6.1 billion at his death, according to Forbes.

Mr. Ilitch never went to college and failed in his bid to make it from the Tigers’ minor league chain, where he played shortstop, to the major leagues.

He found his calling in the business world when he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars, in Garden City, a Detroit suburb, in 1959. It became the world’s largest carryout pizza chain, known for TV ads announcing “Pizza! Pizza!” two-for-one deals.

Turning to the sports world, Mr. Ilitch spent freely and eventually turned around franchises that experienced many lean years. His Tigers won two American League pennants, and his Red Wings of the National Hockey League won four Stanley Cup championships.

He bought the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit in the late 1980s, refurbished it and created an entertainment hub for the city. He moved his corporate headquarters from suburban Farmington Hills into the 10-story building that contains the Fox.

Mr. Ilitch broke into sports ownership in 1982, when he paid a reported $8 million to purchase the Red Wings from the Norris family. Once a powerhouse with names like Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Terry Sawchuk, the franchise was struggling.

In August 1985, Mr. Ilitch, commenting on why his Red Wings were aggressive in pursuing free agents, said: “I hate to lose. I happen to be a fan with an owner’s pocketbook.”

His Wings won the Stanley Cup championship in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008, and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 and into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame a year later.

Mr. Ilitch, who became known as Mr. I, bought the Tigers from the Domino’s pizza founder Tom Monaghan for $85 million in 1992.

Starting in 1994, the Tigers had 12 consecutive losing seasons, but in 2000 they moved from the aging Tiger Stadium to Comerica Park.
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They won the 2006 American League pennant, then lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. They were in the World Series again in 2012, featuring the sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder and pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, but were swept by the San Francisco Giants.

“I’m not afraid to go out and spend money,” Mr. Ilitch said. “It’s been very costly, but I’m not going to change my ways.”

Mike Ilitch was born on July 20, 1929, a son of Sotir Ilitch, a machinist, and Sultana Tasseff Ilitch, who had come to the United States from Macedonia in 1924. He was an all-city athlete in baseball and track at Cooley High School, served four years in the Marines, then signed with the Tigers’ minor league system, but his baseball-playing career ended after a few seasons when he sustained a knee injury.

He worked as a door-to-door salesman until he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars on May 8, 1959. A food service distribution company soon followed to supply ingredients and other products for restaurants. Blue Line Foodservice grew into one of the largest food service distribution companies in the country.

Mr. Ilitch’s charitable endeavors included the Little Caesars Love Kitchen, a restaurant on wheels to feed the hungry and help with food distribution following national disasters.

The Ilitch organization has embarked on a $1.2 billion District Detroit project, transforming dozens of largely vacant blocks in downtown Detroit into a neighborhood including office and residential spaces.

All of Mr. Ilitch’s businesses have their headquarters in the Detroit metropolitan area. His son Christopher is president and chief executive officer of Ilitch Holdings.

In addition to his wife and his son Christopher, Mr. Ilitch is survived by his sons Michael Jr., Atanas and Ron; his daughters, Denise, Lisa and Carole; 22 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

“Mike Ilitch was more than just a shrewd, successful businessman,” Detroit’s mayor, Mike Duggan, said in a statement. “He was a Detroiter through and through. Whether he was making pizza, building successful sports and entertainment franchises or supporting youth organizations in our city, Mr. I helped to bring thousands of jobs and opportunities to our city and attract millions of dollars of investment.”

Marshall "Mark" Brownson

Published in The Palm Beach Post from Feb. 5 to Feb. 6, 2017

Marshall "Mark" Brownson, passed away on February 1, 2017 at the age of 41. Mark graduated from Wellington High in 1993.

He was the 1st baseball player from Wellington to make it to the major leagues.

He was predeceased by his brother Travis. He is survived by his mother Ginny Brownson, father Jack (Paula) Brownson and his daughters Madisyn and Aliah Brownson.

Services will be at Palms West Funeral Home on February 11, visitation from 4:00PM to 7:00PM, service at 7:00PM.

Robert Leroy Bowman
May 10, 1930 - January 27, 2017

Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Jan. 31, 2017


Resident of San Jose
Bob was born in humble beginnings in Laytonville, CA by parents John Bowman and Olive Bowman. One of the original pioneering families in Mendocino, his great grandparents settled along the Eel River.

Bob moved to San Jose to attend Lincoln High School in 1946, where he met his life-long love, Joyce Call. He was an avid athlete, excelling in basketball, football and baseball.
Baseball became his calling while at Napa Junior College. He was unexpectedly drafted to the Klamath Falls, OR Triple A team, when he accompanied a buddy who was trying out.
Bob and Joyce wed in 1950. Shortly thereafter Bob was drafted to the Philadelphia Phillies to play right field. With 6 pitching appearances as a position player, he holds a couple Major League records. Bob and Joyce traveled extensively for baseball to places like Caracas, Venezuela for Summer Ball. Son, Bradley, was born and became part of Bob's entourage.

Bob and Joyce returned to San Jose (Cambrian area), retiring from Major League baseball, adding Sheridan and Jacqueline to their family. Bob became Sales Manager at Joseph George Distributing, where he worked for 31 years. Both Bob and Joyce were avid volunteers in the community, with Lucille Salter Packard Stanford Children's Hospital San Jose Auxiliary (Thrift Box on Lincoln Ave) and Camden High Booster Club.

Bob was an extremely talented handyman and helped build his cabin home next to his high school friends, the Myers family, in Lake Almanor Country Club. There the two families (6 kids total) enjoyed year round activities in the outdoors and made wonderful memories together.

Bob and Joyce entertained tirelessly, stressing the importance of having family over on Sundays and friends flowing through the front door endlessly. He was known for his grilling abilities, as well as cocktail mixes and laughter. He told a good joke and was always classy and caring toward others. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Lou's Village surrounded by life long friends and family.

Retiring from Joseph George in 1990, Bob and Joyce built a new home at Lake Almanor. They became very active for the volunteer fire fighters' "Fire Sirens" Thrift Shop in the Country Club. Kids and grandkids visited often, playing tennis, golf, waterskiing, attending "Family Nights" and cementing more life long friendships. Bob was a great fisherman and golfer. They remained there until Joyce died in 2004. He moved shortly thereafter to The Villages in San Jose, with his furry companion, Russell. He continued to play golf and make new friends in his bridge group. His kids loved having him close by, celebrating birthdays with lively bocce ball games at The Villages.

Bob was a gentle giant who was loved by all. Hes survived by his son, Bradley (Diana), daughters Sheridan and Jacqueline & grandkids Daniel, Andrew (Michelle), Ryan, Lindsay, Micheal (Sarah) and Steven.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his memory to Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital.

As Bob wished, there is no service, however we're planning an event in the Spring to honor his wonderful life.



Walter Herbert Streuli
1935 - 2017

Published in The Commercial Appeal on Jan. 29, 2017

Walter Herbert "Walt" Streuli, 81 of Greensboro, NC passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at Whitestone Care and Wellness Center. A celebration of life service will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, February, 4, 2017, at Forbis & Dick Elm Street Chapel. The family will receive friends following the service.

Walt was born on September 26, 1935 in Memphis, TN. to the late Thelma Wilcoxon and Edwin "Boots" Streuli. He had a stellar athletic career at Central High School in Memphis, where he lettered in basketball, baseball, and football. He was honored to have been named captain of the football team like his father before him. Walt then went on to play professional baseball for the Detroit Tigers. On April 12,1958, he married the love of his life, Beverly Boyer Streuli.

He later attended Southwestern College in Memphis before becoming Vice President of Sales for the E.L. Bruce Hardwood Flooring Co. After moving to Greensboro in 1974, Walt started and put his life into Streuli Sales, Inc. and its employees.

Walt was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro where he taught youth Sunday School. Through the years, he was also active in the Kiwanis Club, Greensboro Colt League Baseball, and Yokefellow Prison Ministries of Greensboro. He enjoyed traveling with Beverly throughout Europe and especially the many trips to New York City.

In addition to his parents, Walt was preceded in death by his brother Edwin. He is survived by his wife of 58 years Beverly B. Streuli, of the home; children, Tripp Streuli (Jan), Steve Streuli (Terri), and Melissa Streuli; grandchildren, Justin, Christopher, Seth, Taylor, and Davis.

In lieu of flowers; the family requests memorial donations made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.

Kenneth Warren Wright, Jr.
September 4, 1946 - January 21, 2017

Published in Pensacola News Journal on Jan. 25, 2017

Kenneth Warren Wright, Jr. was born and raised in Warrington. Ken spent his early years playing little league baseball and attending Warrington Baptist Church. Upon graduation from Escambia High school, he signed a professional baseball contract with the Boston Redsox. While playing minor league ball in Pittsfield, Mass he met his devoted wife Jill (Jilda) and soon married.

Drafted to the KC Royals major leagues in 1969, Ken went onto play in the major leagues the next four years with KC before being traded with this best friend Lou Pinella to the NY Yankees. Ken played several more years with the Yankees and Philadelphia organizations and retired due to ongoing injuries from baseball.

After leaving baseball, ken had several occupations in insurance, real estate, heating and air conditioning, and coached little league baseball. Ken spent his last 16 years as manager of WEAC. Along with his parents, he was instrumental in the establishment and ongoing management of WEAC for the past 30 years.

Ken leaves his loving wife of 50 years Jill, daughter; Lisa Stefano, son; Kenneth W. Wright III, brother; Michael (Anna) Wright and 2 nieces.

We are eternal, yet like fireflies. We light upon this earth for a season. Returning home, beings of light, dancing with the stars.

A graveside service will be held at St. John's Cemetery Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 11:45 am officiated by Mike Bailey. Oak Lawn Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.

Current, former major leaguers die in Dominican crashes

The Associated Press
Published January 22, 2017

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura (left) and former Arizona Diamondbacks' Andy Marte (right) were killed in two separate car crashes in the Dominican Republic. (AP Photos)

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and former major leaguer Andy Marte died in separate traffic accidents early Sunday in their native Dominican Republic.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo said Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles northwest of Santo Domingo. It was not clear if Ventura was driving.

Metropolitan traffic authorities say Marte died when the Mercedes Benz he was driving hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles north of the capital.

Ventura, 25, burst onto the baseball scene with a 100 mph fastball and an explosive attitude to match. He was a fierce competitor always willing to challenge hitters inside, then deal with the ramifications when they decided to charge the mound.

He went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 2014, his first full season in the big leagues, and helped the long-downtrodden Royals reach the World Series for the first time since 1985. He proceeded to dominate San Francisco in both of his starts, though the Royals would ultimately lose in seven games.

Marte, a 33-year-old infielder, played in the Major Leagues from 2005-2010 with Atlanta and Cleveland and returned in 2014 with Arizona. He hit .218 with 21 home runs and 99 RBIs in the big leagues. He spent the last two seasons in South Korea, where he hit 22 homers last year.

Both Ventura and Marte were part of the Dominican winter league team Aguilas Cibaenas, though neither was playing this season.

"We have awoken this Sunday with this sad news that we have lost a special being," club president Winston Llenas said in a statement about Marte that was issued before Ventura's death became known.

Two other active Dominican baseball players have died on the country's dangerous highways in recent years.

St. Louis Cardinal outfielder Oscar Taveras died in 2014 when he crashed in his hometown of Puerto Plata. He was 22. Shortstop Andujar Cedeno died at age 31 in a 2000 crash in the city of La Romana.

A 2015 study by the World Health Organization found that the Dominican Republic had the highest traffic accident death rate in the Americas, with a rate of 29.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Richard E. Starr, Sr.

The Bauer Funeral Home
January 20, 2017


Richard E. Starr, Sr., 95, of Kittanning, PA, died Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at the Armstrong County Health Center.

He was born March 2, 1921 in Kittanning, the son of John A. and Emma F. (Walker) Starr.

Richard graduated from Kittanning High School in 1938 and for three years was a pitcher for the Butler Yankees baseball team. He then honorably served in the US Army during World War II and after returning home in 1945, entered the minor leagues. After nearly 10 years of pitching for the New York Yankees, St. Louis Browns, and Washington Senators, he retired from baseball in 1956. Richard then went to work as a processing clerk at Allegheny Ludlum in Leechburg, retiring in 1982 after 26 years.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Kittanning and volunteered as a Red Coat for many years at Armstrong County Memorial Hospital. Richard was also a dedicated Mason and was Past Master at F&AM Kittanning Lodge #244, a 32nd-degree Mason at the New Castle Consistory and member of the Orient Royal Arch #247. For a number of years, he coached for Tri-County League baseball and local Little League baseball teams. Richard was also a life member of the Professional Baseball Players Association and was inducted into the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame on January 13, 1973, also serving on the organization's Board of Directors.

His memory will be cherished by his loving wife of nearly 75 years, Bonnie I. (Leech) Starr, whom he married February 8, 1942; sons, Richard E. Starr, Jr., of Kittanning, and Rev. William J. Starr and wife, Nancy, of Elizabeth, PA; daughter, Carolyn J. Gallaher, of Kittanning; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Richard was predeceased by his parents; granddaughter, Amy Gallaher; grandson, David M. Gallaher; brother, John A. Starr; sisters, Imogene Steffy and Pauline Starr; son-in-law, David Gallaher; and a daughter-in-law, Linda (Labutka) Starr.

Relatives and friends will be received from 2-4 and 7-9 PM on Friday, January 20, 2017 at Bauer Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 515 N. McKean St., Kittanning, where a Masonic service will be held at 7 PM.

Additional visitation will be from 10 AM until the time of funeral services at 11 AM on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the funeral home, with the Rev. Wade Berkey officiating.

Burial will be in Lawn Haven Burial Estates, Worthington, Pennsylvania, where military honors will be presented by the Vandergrift Veterans Honor Guard.

Longtime pitching coach Adams dies at 95

By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
January 19th, 2017

Los Angeles -- Longtime Dodgers pitching guru Red Adams, who served as pitching coach for Hall of Fame managers Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda, died on Wednesday. He was 95.

Adams, who won 193 games pitching for 19 seasons in the Minor Leagues, was the Major League pitching coach from 1969-80. During that time he coached Dodgers mainstays such as Don Sutton, Burt Hooton, Jim Brewer, Charlie Hough and Rick Sutcliffe, and the team reached the World Series in 1974, '77 and '78.

"No person ever meant more to my career than Red Adams," Sutton said during his Hall of Fame induction in 1998. "Without him, I would not be standing in Cooperstown today."

Adams also scouted for the Dodgers for 10 years after appearing in eight games for the Cubs in 1946, his only Major League action as a player.



Longtime baseball executive Dan O’Brien Sr. dies at 87

The Associated Press
January 17, 2017 at 9:34p ET

Arlington, Texas (AP) Longtime major league executive Dan O’Brien Sr. has died at 87.

The Texas Rangers said he died Monday in Dallas. The Rangers were one of four major league teams with whom O’Brien held front-office jobs over 45 years in professional baseball. O’Brien was the Rangers’ second general manager, from 1973 to 1978.

He began his baseball career in 1955 as a minor league general manager and spent 10 years in the minors before joining the Rangers. He left Texas to become president and later general manager of the Seattle Mariners. He also worked in the front office with the Cleveland Indians, California Angels, Arizona Fall League and USA Baseball before his retirement in 2000.

His son, Dan O’Brien Jr., was general manager of the Cincinnati Reds during the 2004-05 seasons after working an assistant GM in Texas from 1996 to 2003.

 

Stuart Locklin
1928 - 2016

Published in the Albuquerque Journal on Dec. 11, 2016

Stuart (Stu) Carlton Locklin, age 88, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, December 4, 2016. Stu was born on July 22, 1928 in Appleton, WI, to parents Howard and Elsie (Wickeham) Locklin. Stu was the oldest of three children, with brothers Mory and Ronald. In his youth, Stu excelled in athletics, academics, and developed a strong foundation in spirituality. A local nun in his hometown inspired him at a young age to live a life of devotion to Mary and the Catholic Faith.

Stu graduated with bachelors and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin, and earned three athletic letters as a three-sport athlete. He signed a professional baseball contract with the Cleveland Indians organization in 1949, and played with the team in Cleveland in 1955-56. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 and served through 1954 where met his wife Judy Loomer. They were married in Boston in 1955 and went on to have seven children, Sharon, Stuart Edward, foster son Charles Huycke, Leanne, Stephen, Brian Christopher and Karen.

After a career in baseball, they returned home to Appleton. There he served as a teacher, coach, and guidance counselor, as well as a coordinator of the City's youth baseball program. Stu had deep roots of service and charity in Appleton. He and Judy were proud and active members of various church and charitable organizations. He moved to Albuquerque in 2005 where he resided until the Lord took him home. His kind, compassionate, and generous spirit were a light and a role model to many. At the end, he shared his gratefulness to God for the blessing of a life graced by faith, family, and friends by stating "it's beautiful!"

Stu was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Elsie, his brother Ronald and Mory, his wife Judy, and children Matthew and Chuck. He is survived by children Sharon Locklin (Ken Heer) of Green Bay, WI; Stuart E. Locklin of Albuquerque; Leanne Locklin (Lisa Gomez) of Albuquerque; Stephen Locklin (Lisa Hanson) of Green Bay, WI; Brian Locklin (Diane Wisor) of Albuquerque; Karen Cantoja (Al) of Albuquerque; grandchildren Shandra Shears, Lorenzo Cantoja, Jazmarie Wisor, Leonard Garcia, and Brian VanDenzen (Liz), along with great-granddaughter Lucia.

A Rosary beginning at 8:30AM and Mass of the Resurrection at 9:00AM will be held Tuesday, December 13 at Holy Family Church, 562 Atrisco Drive SW, Albuquerque, NM. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Holy Family St. Vincent de Paul, Albuquerque, NM or the charity of your choice.

NOLA native, former major leaguer ‘Putsy’ Caballero dies at 89

Lenny Vangilder
NOLA.com
December 8, 2016 - 7:34 PM CST


Putsy CaballeroRalph “Putsy” Caballero – a native New Orleanian who became the youngest third baseman in major league history – died Thursday, his son Ricky confirmed.

He was 89.

Caballero, who attended Jesuit and Loyola, was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as a 16-year-old on Sept. 9, 1944. Less than a week later, he was in the majors.

At age 22 in 1950, Caballero was a part of a youthful 1950 Phillies team that became known as the “Whiz Kids” and reached the World Series. Caballero’s teammates included Robin Roberts and Richie Ashburn.

Caballero played parts of eight seasons in the majors. After he retired from baseball, he owned and operated an exterminating company in New Orleans.

An online post from this summer indicated that Caballero was one of the last 24 surviving players of Major League Baseball during World War II.

Caballero was honored twice by his hometown. He was a 1994 inductee into the Allstate Sugar Bowl Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame and a 2009 inductee into the New Orleans Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Ralph Branca, beloved Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who gave up ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ home run, dead at 90

Bill Madden
The New York Daily News
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 10:02 PM


Ralph Branca, a good man who was on the bad side of baseball’s most enduring, climactic home run – Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard ’Round the World – died Wednesday morning at a nursing home in Rye.

He was 90 and for 65 years bore the “goat” label and private pain with more dignity and class than anyone could have ever imagined.

Branca’s son-in-law, the ex-Met manager Bobby Valentine, shared the news of his death on Twitter. Valentine is married to Branca’s daughter, Mary.

“One of the greatest guys to ever throw a pitch or sing a song is (no) longer with us,” Valentine tweeted. “Ralph
Branca Passed this morning.

Ralph Branca should be remembered for his dignity, not one pitch.
“In his 91st year on Earth he left us with the same dignity and grace that defined his everyday on earth. He will be truly missed!!!”

Although they had faced each other two days earlier with the same results, Thomson’s one-out, three-run homer off Branca in the third game of the best-of-three playoff that won the National League pennant for the Giants over the Dodgers on Oct. 3, 1951 has remained in the annals as the signature dramatic event in baseballory.

Branca, the burly, 6-3, 220-pound native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., was understandably devastated in the immediate aftermath of giving up the home run that sent Giants broadcaster Russ Hodges into his hysterical chant, “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”
The footage of Branca in front of his locker, his head buried in his hands, moaning, “Why me? Why me?” is almost as famous as that of Thomson crossing home plate at the Polo Grounds and leaping into the arms of his jubilant Giants teammates. But from then on, Branca handled his infamy with uncommon valor, accepting it as destiny and God’s will, and later actually formed a bond with Thomson, with whom he did book promotions, public speaking and card show appearances for many years until his Giant rival’s death in 2010.

That winter, at the New York Baseball Writers Association annual dinner, Branca, who had a professional baritone singing voice, even agreed to sing a parody of the home run pitch in a takeoff of the Tony Bennett hit song at the time, “Because of You.”

Facing Thomson on the stage, Branca sang:

Because of you, I should never been born

Because of you, Dodger fans are forlorn

Lupica: Thomson's 'shot' will live forever
Because of you, they yelled drop dead

And several million want my head

To sever forever in scorn…

“We knocked ’em dead that night,” Branca said proudly, and a week later the two appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show where they did an encore performance of the parody for a national TV audience.

That same winter, Branca, in an interview with J.G. Taylor Spink of the Sporting News, revealed how he’d gotten hundreds of letters from Dodger fans but was pleasantly surprised that the majority of them were sympathetic to him.

“People I’ve never seen have written me, telling me they knew how I felt and that things would be better next season,” Branca said. “They say they’re behind me and they know I’ll make up for it in 1952.”

As Branca later related, another source of strength for him in dealing with his infamy were the words of a Jesuit priest, Pat Rowley, who was the second cousin of his soon-to-be-wife, Ann Mulvey, the daughter of one of the Dodger owners. In a sedan in the Polo Grounds parking lot after the game, Rowley turned to Branca, sitting with his fiancee in the back seat, and said: “It could have happened to anyone. You did your best.” But when Branca repeated his “why me?” lament, Rowley said sternly: “The reason God picked you to throw that pitch was because He knew that your faith was strong enough to withstand the agonies that would follow.”

Still, in 2001 came the revelations in a Wall Street Journal story by Joshua Prager that the Giants, in overcoming a 13 1/2-game deficit to the Dodgers in August, had benefitted from an elaborate sign-stealing scheme, using a telescope and a buzzer system at the Polo Grounds. When the story broke, Thomson admitted the Giants had been stealing signs and that he himself had taken some. But he denied to his dying day he knew what pitch was coming from Branca for that fateful Oct. 3, 1951 home run.

For his part, Branca said he’d known about the Giants’ sign-stealing since 1954 when a Detroit Tigers teammate, Ted Gray, told him about it. A year later, when Branca had signed on with the Giants’ Triple-A farm team in Minneapolis, two Giants pitchers, Al Worthington and Alex Konikowski, came to him in consolation and also confirmed the sign stealing.

“I never said a word about it all those years because I didn’t want to diminish that moment in time,” Branca said after the story broke. “But now I can talk about it. I’m not bitter, but the evidence is irrefutable. How does a team that was 59-51 go 37-7 the rest of the way?”

What was also not widely reported through the years was that when Branca was summoned into that game by Dodgers manager Charlie Dressen to relieve Don Newcombe with one out, two on and the score 4-2, it was his third appearance in four games. On Sept. 30, he’d pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief against the Philadelphia Phillies and, a day later, pitched eight innings – and took the 3-1 loss after surrendering a two-run homer to Thomson in the fourth inning — as the Dodger starter against the Giants in the first game of the playoffs.

Much as Branca longed to redeem himself to Dodger fans, that ’51 season, in which he was 13-12 with a 3.26 ERA, proved to be his last good year in the majors. Prior to that, he’d been a three-time All-Star, with a career-best 21-12 mark with a 2.67 ERA and 280 innings in 1947, followed by a 14-9 record in ’48 and 13-5 in ’49.

In 1947, Branca exhibited another example of courage when, in the pre-game introductions on the Dodgers’ Opening Day at Ebbets Field, he made a point to stand next to Jackie Robinson, who had received numerous death threats for being the first African-American to break baseball’s color line. For years afterward, Robinson always cited Branca as one of his biggest champions.

“Ralph’s always been close to us,” said Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow, in an interview with Westchester Magazine in 2014. “There were players who were hostile to Jack and tried to provoke him. Ralph was one of the players who supported him openly. Jack liked and admired him as a friend even after (Ralph) left the Dodgers.”

Added Willie Mays in a Wednesday interview with the Daily News: “Ralph was one of three white players who came to the South and played with Jackie (Robinson) when he was on a barnstorming team. Roy (Campanella) called me in ’52 or ’53. I was in the Army at the time. I was offered $18,000 to play on that team, which was a lot of money then.”

Mays knew all about the enduring friendship between Branca and Robinson. “Ralph and Jackie both lived in Connecticut, I believe, and Ralph would drive Jackie to the ballpark (Ebbets Field) and he would take Jackie home after games,” Mays said. “That surprised me because in those days you didn’t do that stuff.”

Several baseball people referred to Branca’s relationship with Robinson as they reacted to the pitcher’s death, including baseball commissioner Rob Manfred.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the family, friends and fellow admirers of Ralph Branca, a three-time All-Star, a friend of Jackie Robinson and a former President and board member of the Baseball Assistance Team,” Manfred said in a statement. “Ralph was a true gentleman who earned universal respect in the game he loved and served so well.

“Ralph’s participation in the ‘Shot Heard ’Round the World’ was eclipsed by the grace and sportsmanship he demonstrated following one of the game’s signature moments. He is better remembered for his dedication to the members of the baseball community. He was an inspiration to so many of us.

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my best wishes to Ralph’s wife Ann, his daughter Mary, his son-in-law Bobby Valentine and his many friends throughout the National Pastime.”

Through almost his entire time with the Dodgers, before and after his unluckiest day, Branca wore No. 13. A back injury suffered in 1952 limited the big righthander to 16 games that year and he was never the same pitcher. In ’53, the Dodgers sold him to the Tigers and by ’56 his career was over. His lifetime record was 86-68 with a 3.79 ERA and 19 shutouts.

Branca’s baseball afterlife was very possibly more rewarding for him than his playing career. He was a popular celebrity around New York, frequently asked to perform the Star-Spangled Banner at games and dinners, and in September 1963, he appeared on the TV game show “Concentration,” scoring a record 17 straight wins. In 1986, he was one of the founders of the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT), which has raised millions of dollars to help indigent former major league players, managers, coaches, umpires and office personnel.

On Aug. 31, 2010, Branca made an appearance at a memorial service for Thomson in Scotch Plains, N.J. “I came to say goodbye to an old friend,” he said. “We shared some great moments and played in the golden era of baseball, especially in New York. I’ve often said I lost the game but I ended up making a good friend.”

Branca, the 15th of 17 children who grew up in Mount Vernon, attended NYU and lived at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., is survived by his wife, Ann, whom he married Oct. 29, 1951, and two daughters, Patti and Mary, who is married to former Mets manager Bobby Valentine.

Rep. Pete King called Branca a “New York legend” in a statement released by the congressman’s office.

“I just received the sad news that my good friend Ralph Branca has passed away,” King wrote. “Ralph was a New York legend who was a star pitcher on the famed Brooklyn Dodgers ‘Boys of Summer’ teams of the 1940s and ’50s. Even more importantly, Ralph and his wonderful wife Ann were the epitome of class, representing the very best of New York and baseball.”

Said Rachel Robinson Wednesday: “Ralph was a true friend and I loved him. He and Ann were among our dearest Dodger family friends. He was a man of integrity and humility and we felt his sincerity. I will treasure my warm memories of our times together. I was very saddened to receive this news.”


Boo Ferriss, 94; helped lead Sox to 1946 pennant

By Mark Feeney Globe Staff November 24, 2016

Dave “Boo” Ferriss, the Red Sox righthander who as staff ace helped pitch the team to the American League pennant in 1946, then saw his career cut short by a shoulder injury, died Thursday at his home in Cleveland, Miss. He was 94.

Mr. Ferriss, who was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2002, was the classic pitching phenom. He was an All-Star his first two seasons in the majors, compiling a win-loss record of 46-16.

In 1945, Mr. Ferriss began his career with 22? consecutive shutout innings, establishing an American League record that lasted for 63 years. He reached 20 wins in only 30 career appearances, a record held with three other pitchers. He was fourth in voting for AL most valuable player.

In 1946, Mr. Ferriss led the major leagues with an .806 win-loss percentage and pitched a complete-game shutout in the World Series. The Red Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

“I wasn’t a power pitcher,” Mr. Ferriss said to David Halberstam in a 2002 interview for his book “The Teammates.” “My best pitch was the sinker that bore in on right-handed hitters and away from lefties. For me to be successful, my control had to be very good. I wasn’t going to strike out a lot of hitters. If I got four or five strikeouts a game that was a good game.”

Mr. Ferriss’s 13-0 start at Fenway Park in 1946 was matched this year by Rick Porcello.

It was assumed Mr. Ferriss would be the cornerstone of a standout Red Sox pitching staff for many years. Mr. Ferriss, along with his fellow pitchers Tex Hughson and Mickey Harris, turned out to be one of the great might-have-beens in a Red Sox history full of them. In 1947, they all developed arm trouble. Mr. Ferriss’s would dog him the rest of his abbreviated career.

“The first two years I pitched over 500 innings,” Mr. Ferriss noted in a 1999 Globe interview, speculating as to the cause of his arm trouble.

Pitching against the Cleveland Indians in 1947, he felt a burning sensation in his right shoulder. “I won that game, 1-0,” he recalled in a 2002 interview with MLB.com. “I was never the same after that.”

In all likelihood, Mr. Ferriss had suffered an injury to his rotator cuff. He had one more moment of pitching glory for the Red Sox. He came in from the bullpen in the last game of the 1948 season with the bases loaded against the Yankees. He retired Hank Bauer and Joe DiMaggio to preserve a Red Sox victory that put them in a tie with the Indians for first place in the AL. Cleveland beat the Red Sox in a one-game playoff.

Mr. Ferriss posted a 12-11 won-lost record in 1947, and 7-3 the next year. He made just four appearances in 1949 and only one in 1950. He pitched for Louisville, the Red Sox’s Triple-A affiliate, until 1954. He became Red Sox pitching coach in 1955, a post he held for the next five seasons.

Mr. Ferriss compiled a career record of 65-30 and an earned run average of 3.74.

“I’m sorry my arm injury came along,” he said in that MLB.com interview, “but that’s baseball. There was nothing I could do about that.”

David Meadow Ferriss was born on Dec. 5, 1921, in Shaw, Miss. His father, William D. Ferriss, was a cotton farmer, and his mother, Lellie (Meadow) Ferriss, a postal worker. Mr. Ferriss received his nickname because as a toddler that’s how he pronounced “brother.” So universal was the use of the name that Mr. Ferriss later had himself listed as “Boo” in the Cleveland, Miss., telephone directory.

“I was always crazy about baseball,” Mr. Ferriss said in a 1945 Globe interview. “I can remember being bawled out for wearing my baseball cap to Sunday school.”

At 15, his high school coach switched him from middle infielder to pitcher. He never lost his ability at the plate, though. The Red Sox used Mr. Ferriss as a pinch hitter 41 times, and he had a very respectable career batting average of .250.

Mr. Ferriss was the first baseball player to receive a full athletic scholarship at Mississippi State University. He was later inducted into the school’s hall of fame and had his number there retired.

Mr. Ferriss enlisted in the Army Air Forces in 1942, rising to the rank of corporal. He received a medical discharge in 1945 because of severe asthma. After joining the Red Sox, his asthma would occasionally affect his pitching.

His wife, Miriam, fondly remembered the Boston area — and particularly their neighborhood in Needham — in a phone interview Thursday.

“The friends we made in Boston was one of the things we loved the most,” she said. “We just loved Boston. Our children did, too.’’

A country boy whose strongest expletive was “Shuck-uns,” Mr. Ferriss returned to Mississippi after his five seasons as Red Sox pitching coach. He became athletic director and baseball coach at Delta State University. He also spent 1½ years as assistant athletic director at Mississippi State. During his 26 seasons coaching at Delta State, Mr. Ferriss’s teams compiled a record of 639-387 and went to the NCAA Division II College World Series three times. Mr. Ferriss retired in 1988. That year, Delta State named its baseball field in his honor.

“Everyone claims him,’’ said Joe Dier, a former official with Mississippi State, according to the Clarion-Ledger. “Delta State claims him. Mississippi State claims him. Mississippi claims him. The Boston Red Sox claims him. And everybody has their idea of what the best is. And he kind of fits it for everybody.’’

Mr. Ferriss coached several players who went on to the big leagues. But his most auspicious bit of coaching contributed to the best-seller list rather than baseball. A junior college transfer named John Grisham had trouble hitting curveballs. As Grisham later recalled it, Mr. Ferriss “told me I should apply myself to books.”

In addition to his wife, Miriam, of Cleveland, Miss., Mr. Ferriss leaves a son, David Jr. of Brentwood, Tenn.; a daughter, Margaret, of Madison, Miss.; two grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Cleveland at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Russ Nixon
1935 - 2016

The Las Vegas Review-Journal
November 11, 2016


Russ Nixon, 81, a former Major League Baseball player, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. A baseball veteran for 56 years, Russ was a major-league player for 12 seasons and a scout, coach and manager for 44 more at virtually every level of the sport.

Russ was born Feb. 19, 1935, in Cleves, Ohio, along with his twin brother, Roy. It was his grandfather's love of baseball that started him on the path to professional baseball. Russ graduated from Western Hills High School in Cincinnati and signed with the Cleveland Indians shortly thereafter in 1953. He played 12 seasons as a catcher in the American League with the Indians, Red Sox and Twins.

His coaching and managing career began in Cincinnati Red's farm system in 1970 and was the third base coach for the "Big Red Machine" in the 1976 World Series. He managed the Cincinnati Reds in 1982 and 1983 and later managed the Atlanta Braves from 1988 to 1990. He spent the remainder of his career doing what he loved, developing young players with the San Diego Padres, Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers organizations. He retired from baseball in 2009. He has the distinction of being active in Major League Baseball for 56 consecutive years in various roles.

Russ married Glenda (nee Carder) July 1, 1954 and they were married 62 years. Russ is preceded in death by his granddaughter, Lindsey Nixon. Russ is survived by his wife Glenda; daughters, Rebel Dahlberg (Mark), Misty Steinhauer (Mark) and Samantha Linares (Mike); son, Chris Nixon (Gloria); grandchildren, Chantal, Abby, Kaylin, Culver, Clare, Ava and Lana; four great-grandchildren; identical twin brother, Roy Nixon (Arlene); nieces, Lori, Julie and Vicky; nephews, Kirk and Keith; and many other relatives. Services will be private.



James "Marlan" Coughtry
September 11, 1934 ~ November 8, 2016

Published in The Columbian on Nov. 27, 2016

"Marlan was a great Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Friend. He will be greatly missed."

James "Marlan" Coughtry was born Sept. 11th, 1934 in Hollywood, CA. He went to heaven Nov. 8th, 2016 in Vancouver, WA peacefully in his sleep at 82 years old.
Marlan's younger years were filled with baseball and the Chipmunks car club, with him being President. He played ball for the Boston Red Sox, California Angles and Cleveland Indians to name a few.

Marlan had many hobbies, he was always busy. There was never anything he put his mind to that he didn't accomplish. He was a active member of Vancouver First Friends Church until his passing.

Marlan is survived by 3 children, Kathy (Paul) Keeler, Jon (Karla) Coughtry and Kevin (Evelyn) Coughtry; 2 step-children, Paul Reed and Angela Shaw; 7 grandchildren; and 3 step-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by 2 wives, Joanna and Sylvia.

A memorial service will be held at Vancouver First Friends Church on Sat., Dec. 3rd at 2p.m.

In lieu of flowers, make donations to Vancouver First Friends Twin Rocks Scholarships in Marlan's memory.


Former major leaguer Eddie 'Lefty' Carnett dies at 100


The Sporting News
November 4, 2016 7:58pm EDT

Two weeks after turning 100, the oldest living major league player has died.

Eddie "Lefty" Carnett died in Ringling, Okla., with his family surrounding him, the Mariners announced.

MORE: Notable sports deaths of 2016

Carnett played for the Braves, White Sox and Indians from 1941 to 1945. He also played for the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, among many other minor league clubs. He was an outfielder, first baseman and pitcher. He was also a player-manager for six seasons in the minor leagues.

At 95, Carnett threw out the first pitch at Safeco Field in 2012 as the Mariners wore Rainiers jerseys during "Turn Back the Clock" night.



Robert "Bob" Addis
1925 - 2016

Published in The News-Herald.com on Nov. 17, 2016


Robert "Bob" Addis passed away on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at the age of 91. He was born on November 6, 1925 in Mineral, Ohio.
Bob served in the Marine Corps during WWII and then went on to play professional baseball for ten years. He earned his Masters in Education from Kent State University followed by a 34 year career at Euclid High School as a teacher, baseball coach and Athletic Director. He was a longtime member of the Euclid Rotary Club and an avid golfer.

Bob is survived by his two daughters, Suzanne Baiz (Mark) and Jane; grandchildren, Robert and Sarah and great-granddaughter, Blake.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie; his parents, Lewis and Sylvia and brother, Emmett.

The family will receive friends 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, November 18, 2016 at Brunner Sanden Deitrick Funeral Home & Cremation Center 8466 Mentor Ave., Mentor, Ohio 44060.
The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 19, 2016 at St. Hubert's Episcopal Church, 8870 Baldwin Rd, Kirtland Hills, Ohio 44060.

Interment service will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Greenlawn Cemetery, 2582 Romig Road, Akron, Ohio 44320.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Euclid High School Sports Hall of Fame c/o Alumni Office, 711 East 222nd St. Euclid, Ohio 44123.

Mark S. Johnson

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
November 10th, 2016

Mark S. Johnson, 65, of Kailua, Oahu died October 26, 2016. He was born in Louisville, KY.

Mark spent 20 years as a Major League umpire. He officiated 2 All-Star games (Wrigley Field, Fenway Park), multiple playoff games, and the 1993 World Series before retiring to his home in Mt. Washington, KY.

He liked to golf, fish, hunt and spend time with friends, old and new; but he loved Kentucky basketball. His dream was to move to Hawaii in his retirement, which he did in 2011.

He is survived by his wife Lilia; son, Kyle; and Old English Mastiff, "Baby". A Celebration of Life service will be held at Murphy's (2 Merchant St., Honolulu) on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 at 1 pm. Casual attire requested, UK Blue, preferred.

Arrangements Provided By: Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary, LLC




John Orsino, who spent 7 seasons in majors, dies at 78

By The Associated Press
November 3, 2016

John Orsino, one of the San Francisco players who hit a record-tying five home runs in a 12-run ninth inning in a 1961 game at Cincinnati, has died. He was 78.

Orsino died Tuesday at Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, following a lengthy illness, according to his wife, Honey.

A catcher and first baseman who was born in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Orsino spent seven seasons in the major leagues with the Giants (1961-62), Baltimore (1963-65) and Washington (1966-67), hitting .249 with 40 home runs and 123 RBIs.

His best season was 1963, when he homered in his first five spring training games with the Orioles and went on to bat .272 with 19 home runs and 56 RBIs.

Orsino was part of the home run barrage by the Giants in a 14-0 win at Cincinnati's Crosley Field on Aug. 23, 1961. Orlando Cepeda and Felipe Alou hit consecutive home runs, Jim Davenport had an inside-the-park homer, Willie Mays went deep and Orsino capped the burst with a three-run homer.

Orsino was the baseball coach at Fairleigh Dickinson from 1970-76 and in 1980, leading the team to a 125-120-2 record, and later became the golf pro at Emerson Country Club in Emerson, New Jersey, and the Indian Spring Country Club in Boynton Beach, Florida. He was men's golf coach at Florida Atlantic from October 2004 to November 2006.

He is survived by his wife and two children from an earlier marriage, a daughter, Jeryl, and a son, Jay. A funeral is scheduled for Saturday at Landmark Funeral Home in Hollywood, Florida.

Island's former major league baseball player dies

By Jason Malloy
The Guardian
Published on November 2, 2016


Friends and family are mourning the death of the only Prince Edward Island native to play Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era.

James Vernon (Vern) Handrahan died Wednesday. The Charlottetown native was 79.

His former P.E.I. teammates painted a picture Wednesday of a devoted family man with no bad habits, who was always willing to give back to others while deflecting any recognition.

“Vern was a very humble person, never sought any attention,” said friend Bobby Lund.

“He’s going to be sorely missed,” he added of his former teammate. “He was so good with everybody and a real role model.”

Handrahan started playing baseball when he was 15 years old. He was a good all-around athlete, but it was on the mound he excelled.

“He never saw himself as being the centrepiece of the team,” Don Leclair said. “He was a terrific all-around ball player. He wasn't just a pitcher.”

Leclair was catching the day the coach called Handrahan in from the outfield to make his pitching debut. The right-handed hurler, Leclair said, was exceptionally fast.

“He had a fantastic arm and he rode that arm all the way to 12 years of professional baseball,” Lund said.

It included stops with minor league teams in New York, Wisconsin, Idaho and Orgeon.

Six years after picking up the sport, Handrahan caught the attention of a pro scout while playing for the Stellarton Albions in Nova Scotia. In 1959, he signed with the Milwaukee Braves.

He played two seasons with the Kansas City Athletics in the MLB. He amassed a 0-2 record with a 5.31 earned-run average in 34 games. He also had two hits as a batter.

From Memorial Field to Yankee Stadium, Handrahan made it the top level of baseball during a time when there were no YouTube videos of players or information on prospects readily available as it is today. It was before the Montreal Expos or Toronto Blue Jays were born.

“A Canadian, let alone an Islander, to make it up through those ranks was unbelievable,” said Fred (Fiddler) MacDonald, a sports columnist with The Guardian and a batboy for Charlottetown teams in the 1950s that Handrahan played for. “A first-class gentleman who never said anything bad about anybody.”

Leclair played ball with Handrahan after his professional career. Pitching against the likes of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle hadn’t changed Handrahan.

Leclair remembers a fan getting on him once during an oldtimers game in Stellarton, saying how Handrahan wasn’t that good.

“He threw two or three pitches that I think illustrated to them that he certainly was capable of playing professional baseball,” Leclair said. “But he was the type of guy that wasn't out there to exhibit how good he was, rather he was thinking of the poor guy who was up at-bat and giving him the opportunity to make contact.”

Lund said he referenced Handrahan while coaching kids.

“I'd always say, ‘Don't give up if you have a dream because here’s a fella who had a dream and at the age of 21 it came to fruition,’ so to speak,” he said.

Handrahan was the first inductee into the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame in 1968.

Joseph Kirrene Jr.
1931 - 2016

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Nov. 6, 2016

Joe was born Oct. 4, 1931, and passed from our world Oct. 19, 2016. He was at home at peace with his family. He was the son of Joseph John Kirrene, Sr., and Florence Agnes Kirrene, and is survived by his wife of 63 years, Grace Anne Johnson Kirrene; son Michael Kirrene (Virginia); grandchildren Stephen Kirrene, Carolyn Kirrene Breaud (Scott); and two great grandchildren. Joe is also survived by his brothers, Jerry (Rosemary), Bob (Julie), and Tom Kirrene (Linda);sister-in-law Georganna Niver, and many nieces and nephews.

Joe was born in San Francisco; his family moved to Sacramento in 1940. He was a graduate of Christian Brothers High School, and was signed to a Chicago White Sox baseball contract in 1949. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean War, and was honorably discharged in 1954. He played baseball with the San Francisco Seals, and Oakland Oaks before going to the Chicago White Sox.

In later years Joe worked for the California State Auto Assn., and was the manager of offices in Yreka, Walnut Creek, Petaluma, Hayward, San Jose, and became a Regional Manager. He was with the CSAA for 41 years, and lived in San Ramon for 44 years. He had many hobbies, loved all sports-- especially playing golf, and watching Giants & A's baseball. Joe had a great sense of humor, and his smile and laugh would light up a room. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.

Military Memorial Services will be held on November 8, 2016, 1PM, at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, in Dixon, Ca. A reception for family and friends will be at Bud's Restaurant on S. 1st St., Dixon. Family requests that any donations be made to Hospice, or a charity of their choice.

Jose Fernandez dies in boating accident
play

ESPN.com Sep 26, 2016

Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Florida early Sunday morning.

Spokesman Lorenzo Veloz of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a news conference Sunday that Fernandez, 24, was one of three men killed in the accident.

The Coast Guard arrived on the scene around 3 a.m. to find a 32-foot boat upside down on a jetty off Miami Beach. Two of the victims were found dead under the vessel. One was found dead in the water. None of the deceased was wearing a life vest.

Fernandez died from trauma -- not drowning, Veloz said.

The names of the other two individuals initially were withheld pending notification of relatives, the Coast Guard said. On Monday, the Miami-Dade medical examiner confirmed to ESPN that the names of the others were Emilio Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25.

No further details could be provided on their connection to Fernandez because the case remains under investigation. However, the next of kin have been notified, the spokesperson said.

Speed is suspected to be a factor in the accident because of the impact with the jetty, Veloz said. There was no evidence of alcohol or illegal drug use.

"It does appear that speed was involved due to the impact and the severity of it,'' Veloz said. "It does appear to be that they were coming at full speed when they encountered the jetty and the accident happened.''

Veloz said Sunday the boat was owned by a friend of Fernandez's, but on Monday the FWC said in a statement that the registered owner of the vessel was Fernandez.

The Marlins announced that Sunday's game at home against the Atlanta Braves was canceled. A 16 -- Fernandez's uniform number -- was painted on the mound at Marlins Park on Sunday morning, and flowers rested on the rubber. Major League Baseball announced that there would be a league-wide moment of silence before each of Sunday's games.

"Sadly, the brightest lights are often the ones that extinguish the fastest,'' Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said in a statement. "Jose left us far too soon, but his memory will endure in all of us. At this difficult time, our prayers are with his mother, grandmother, family and friends.''

Marlins president David Samson said in a news conference that Monday's game against the New York Mets will be played as scheduled. He said Fernandez will be a member of the Marlins "all time."

"The way he played this game, the way he was on the field, that's a way how these guys can honor him," Samson said.

Manager Don Mattingly and some Marlins players broke down during Sunday's news conference. Mattingly said Fernandez played with the "joy" of a "little boy."

Following the news conference, buses took Marlins players and executives to Fernandez's mother's home so they could offer her support and condolences.

Slugger Giancarlo Stanton didn't speak but later posted a tribute on Instagram.

"That smile I'm not going to see anymore. That personality and that love of the game, the love of everything, really. He was so accessible too," Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said at Marlins Park after Sunday's game was canceled. "The Marlins were done with batting practice [Saturday], but he was still out here talking to everybody and having a great time."

The Tampa Bay Rays canceled a scheduled pregame ceremony to recognize retiring Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, per his wishes, after Sunday's tragedy. Ortiz was seen in tears during the moment of silence before Sunday's game in Tampa, Florida.

"I don't have the words to describe the pain I feel,'' Ortiz said.

The Miami Dolphins held a moment of silence for Fernandez before their game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Fernandez announced on Instagram last week that his girlfriend is pregnant. The Marlins announced during Sunday's news conference that the baby is a girl.

"All of Baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández," Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "He was one of our game's great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life."

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark also released a statement Sunday morning: "We are devastated by the news that Jose Fernandez has tragically passed. Jose was a remarkable young man and a tremendously gifted athlete, who at just 24, established himself as one of the game's biggest and brightest stars. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jose's family, friends, teammates, Miami Marlins organization and legions of fans in the United States and Latin America."

Fernandez's next start had been pushed from Sunday to Monday to make room for Adam Conley's return from the disabled list.

Fernandez immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 2008, after three failed defection attempts, and settled in Tampa, Florida. He became a United States citizen last year. He was a 2011 first-round pick, taken 14th overall by the Marlins, out of Tampa's Alonso High School.

At Citi Field in New York, fellow Cuban Yoenis Cespedes and the Mets hung a team jersey with Fernandez's name and No. 16 on the back in the dugout. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who is also Cuban, hung a Dodgers jersey with Fernandez's name and No. 16 in Los Angeles' dugout.

Chicago Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler played with Fernandez when the two were growing up in Cuba. They traveled together to Venezuela for a youth tournament, and Soler said Fernandez's ability was obvious, right from the start.

"Since he was a child, since we were kids, I knew he had something," Soler said through a translator. "He had a talent. It was very impressive."

Fernandez was 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA this season, earning his second appearance in the All-Star Game. Fernandez, who was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 2013, was 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA in 76 career starts for the Marlins.

Third baseman Martin Prado said Sunday that Fernandez told one of his Marlins teammates that his last start against the Washington Nationals "was his best ever, and now he's gone." In that start, Fernandez pitched eight innings and struck out 12 as he allowed just three hits in a 1-0 Marlins victory.

Fernandez joins a long list of active baseball players to die in accidents. Cleveland Indians pitchers Tim Crews, 31, and Steve Olin, 27, were killed in a boating accident in Clermont, Florida, on March 22, 1993. Indians pitcher Bobby Ojeda was also on the boat and lost four pints of blood, but he survived.

ESPN staff writer James Walker and The Associated Press contributed to this report.