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Former pitcher, war vet Brissie dies at 89

Lou Brissie, a veteran of World War II and a former All-Star in the waning years of Connie Mack's tenure with the Philadelphia Athletics, has passed away, according to a report in The New York Times. Brissie was 89 years old, and his Major League career took place after he had served in the military.

Brissie, a native of Ware Shoals, S.C., played one year of college baseball at Presbyterian College in his home state before joining the Army in December 1942. Brissie went on to serve in Italy and endured an injured right shoulder and a broken left shin when a German shell exploded beside him.

Brissie, a southpaw, would ultimately undergo 23 operations to get his leg back to top physical condition, and he resumed his baseball career when his military service was over. Brissie first pitched for Mack's Athletics in 1947, and he broke out for a 14-win season as a 24-year-old in 1948.

The left-hander's best season came in 1949, when he logged a 16-11 record and a 4.28 ERA. Brissie was part of a massive three-team trade in 1951 that sent Gus Zernial to Philadelphia and Minnie Minoso to the White Sox, and Brissie later finished his career with a 44-48 record and a 4.07 ERA.

Brissie, according to The New York Times, is survived by his second wife, Diana, their daughter Jennifer and two children -- son Robert and daughter Vicki Bishop -- from his marriage to his first wife, Dorothy. Brissie is also survived by stepchildren Charlotte Klein and Aaron Smith, as well as many grandchildren.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for

Lou Brissie