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Necrology

In remembrance of baseball legends

Johnny Antonelli was born on April 12, 1930 in Rochester, N.Y. and made his major league debut with the Boston Braves on July 4, 1948. After three seasons in the majors, Antonelli was drafted into the military and missed two years of playing due to the Korean War. After returning to the majors in 1953, Antonelli continued his career, splitting time between the Milwaukee Braves, New York Giants, San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Indians. Antonelli concluded his 12-year major league career as a six-time All-Star, World Series champion with the New York Giants and ERA Title holder in 1954. Antonelli passed away on February 28, 2020 in Rochester, N.Y.  

Ramón Avilés was born on January 22, 1952 in Manati, Puerto Rico and made his debut on July 10, 1977 with the Boston Red Sox. After his four-year major league career as an infielder, Aviles became a manager, spending most of his time in the Phillies organization. Aviles passed away at age 72 on January 27, 2020 in Manati, Puerto Rico. 

Glenn Beckert was born on October 12, 1940 in Pittsburgh, Penn. and made his major league debut on April 12, 1965 with the Chicago Cubs. Being the Cubs regular second baseman for almost a decade, Beckert ended his major league career as a four-time All-Star, Gold Glove winner and NL Runs Scored Leader. After retiring from baseball, Beckert became a commodities trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. Beckert passed away on April 12, 2020.

Jim Bolger was born on February 23, 1932 in Cincinnati, Ohio and made his major league debut on June 24, 1950 with the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the 1,000th player to wear the Reds uniform. After splitting his time between several different squads, Bolger retired and resided in Cincinnati. He became an office manager for Minute Men Staffing Services. Bolger passed away on April 9, 2020.

Gil Coan was born on May 18, 1922 in Monroe, N.C. and made his major league debut on April 27, 1946 with the Washington Senators. Coan was named Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .372 with 16 home runs for the Chattanooga Lookouts. When called up by the Senators, he collected 21 hits in 42 at-bats for a .500 average. After his playing career, Coan entered the insurance industry working at his family-owned business - the Brevard Insurance Agency. Coan passed away on February 4, 2020 in Hendersonville, N.C.

Ramon Conde was born on December 29, 1934 in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico and made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox on July 17, 1962. Conde ended his U.S. playing career within the Cincinnati Reds organization. After his playing career, Conde became a coach and executive in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Conde also managed the Plataneros de Tabasco in 1981, the Wytheville Cubs in 1985 and the Union Laguna Cotton Dealers in 1986 before later retiring in Puerto Rico. Conde passed away on February 23, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Ted Cox was born on January 24, 1955 in Oklahoma City, Okla. and made his major league debut with the Boston Red Sox on September 18, 1977. To this day Cox still owns the record for most consecutive hits to start a career with six hits in his first six at bats, as well as most consecutive times getting on base to start a career with seven. Cox passed away March 11, 2020.

Angel Echevarria was born May 25, 1972 in Bridgeport, Conn., making his major league debut in 1996 with the Colorado Rockies. Primarily an outfielder, Echevarria spent seven years in the majors, splitting time between the Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs. After his playing days concluded, Echevarria spent time as a baseball instructor in Norwalk, Conn. and frequently assisted with the MLBPAA's Legends for Youth clinics. Echevarria passed away on February 7, 2020 in his hometown of Bridgeport, Conn.

Narciso Elvira was born on October 29, 1967 in Tlalixcoyan, Mexico and made his major league debut on September 9, 1990 with the Milwaukee Brewers. While his time in the majors was quick, he spent 1986-2004 in the Mexican League, becoming just the second Mexican League pitcher with two no-hitters. Elvira passed away on January 28, 2020 in Medellin de Bravo, Veracruz Mexico.

Ed Farmer was born on October 18, 1949 in Evergreen Park, Ill. and made his major league debut on June 9, 1971 with the Cleveland Indians. Farmer spent 11 years in the league, making the All-Star roster and recording a 30 saves season in 1980 while playing for the Chicago White Sox. At the conclusion of his playing career, Farmer was a scout for the Baltimore Orioles in 1989 and went on to become a radio broadcaster for the White Sox three years later. Farmer began color commentating and gradually added play-by-play duties between 1992 and 2005. Farmer passed away after a battle with kidney disease on April 1, 2020 in Calabasas, Calif.

Tony Fernández was born on June 30, 1962 in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic and made his major league debut on September 2, 1983 with the Toronto Blue Jays. Fernández ended his exceptional 17-year major league career with four Gold Glove Awards, five All-Star appearances, and a 1993 World Series championship with the Blue Jays. He also led the American League in singles in 1986 and in triples in 1990. In 2008, Fernández was voted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and in 2016 he joined the Texas Rangers as a special coach. Fernández passed away on February 16, 2020 in Weston, Fla.

Dámaso García was born on February 7, 1957 in Moca, Dominican Republic and made his major league debut with the New York Yankees on June 24, 1978. Garcia took off on his career when starting at second base for the Blue Jays from 1980 to 1986 after being acquired from the Yankees. Garcia ended his career as a Silver Slugger Award winner in 1982, and a two-time All- Star in 1984 and 1985. After his retirement from the game, Garcia was diagnosed with a brain tumor. During his recovery, he used his talents and passion to work with children who had suffered from traumatic medical conditions, and organized several baseball camps for them. Garcia passed away on April 15, 2020 in the Dominican Republic.

Larry Gowell was born on May 2, 1948 in Lewiston, Maine and made his major league debut on September 21, 1972 with the New York Yankees. On October 4, 1972, Gowell hit a double for his first and only major league hit, and it was the last hit in the regular season by an American League pitcher before the start of the designated hitter rule. That historical ball now resides in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Gowell passed away on May 11, 2020.

Rich Hacker was born on October 6, 1947 in Belleville, Ill. and made his major league debut on July 2, 1971 with the Montreal Expos. After his brief time with the Expos, Hacker switched roles and became a coach for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1986-1990, then joined the Toronto Blue Jays staff from 1991-1994. Hacker passed away on April 22, 2020 in Fairview Heights, Ill. from cancer complications.

Jay Hankins was born on November 7, 1935 in St. Louis County, Mo. and made his debut on April 15, 1961 with the Kansas City Athletics. After his time as an outfielder in the majors ended, Hankins switched to scouting for the Cleveland Indians and then the Kansas City Royals from 1967-1974. He also managed the Kingsport Royals in 1972, then took the role of Scouting Director of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1989-1992. Hankins passed away on January 20, 2020.

Don Hasenmayer was born on April 4, 1927 in Roslyn, Pa. and made his major league debut on May 2, 1945 with the Philadelphia Phillies. At just 18 years old, Hasenmayer was one of the youngest players in the majors, and was the last surviving player who debuted in 1945. Hasenmayer passed away on January 28, 2020.

Dick Hyde was born on August 3, 1928 in Hindsboro, Ill. and made his major league debut with the Washington Senators on April 23, 1955. Hyde spent his early time between the minor league and two years in the military, during the Korean War. 1958 was a big year for him, getting married and making a name for himself on the mound with the Senators. He then suffered from a heart attack and retired in the 80s. After his playing career, Hyde got his stockbroker's license and then worked for the Illinois Power Company. Hyde passed away on April 15, 2020 in Champaign, Ill.

Bart Johnson was born on January 3, 1950 in Torrance, Calif. and made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox on September 8, 1969. During the 1974 season with the White Sox, Johnson tossed back-to-back complete game shutouts against the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox. After his playing days, Johnson became a scout for the White Sox, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and the Washington Nationals. Johnson passed away on April 22, 2020 in Palos Heights, Ill. after battling complications from Parkinson's disease.

Ben Johnson was born on May 16, 1931 in Greenwood, S.C. and made his major league debut on September 6, 1959 with the Chicago Cubs. Before his pitching days with the Cubs in 1959 and 1960, Johnson served in the United States Marine Corps. After retirement from baseball, Johnson went on to work in his hometown of Greenwood, S.C. for the Monsanto Corporation. Johnson passed away on May 8, 2020

Al Kaline was born on December 19, 1934 in Baltimore. Kaline's major league debut occurred on June 25, 1953 with the Detroit Tigers and stayed with the team for the entire duration of his 22-year career. Earning the nickname "Mr. Tiger", Kaline's successes include 15 All-Star appearances, 10 Gold Glove Awards and a 1968 World Series championship. Kaline also led the American League in batting average, hits and total bases in 1955. He earned the first Roberto Clemente Award and earned his spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 9, 1980. After his playing career ended, Kaline joined the Tigers broadcasting team from 1976 to 2001. Kaline passed away on April 6, 2020 in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Matt Keough was born on July 3, 1955 in Pomona, Calif. and began his major league career on September 3, 1977 with the Oakland Athletics. Keough's career with the A's was a successful one, making an All-Star appearance in 1978 and being presented the 1980 AL Comeback Player of the Year Award. After his years with Oakland, Keough split his time between the Yankees, Cardinals, Cubs and Astros but after a foul ball hit to his right temple, his playing career was cut short. Keough later became a minor league scout with the Angels and the Devil Rays, and later a Special Assistant to the General Manager for the A's. Keough passed away on May 1, 2020.

Don Larsen was born on August 7, 1929 in Michigan City, Ind. and made his major league debut with the St. Louis Browns on April 18, 1953. Throughout his 14-year baseball career, Larsen is most known for accomplishing the incredible - pitching a perfect game in the 1956 World Series, which earned him World Series MVP accolades. He earned two World Series Championship rings while with the Yankees, in '56 and '58. Following his baseball career, Larsen became a paper company salesman and retired in Idaho. Larsen passed away on January 1, 2020 in Hayden Idaho.

Bob Lee was born on November 26, 1937 in Ottumwa, Iowa, making his big league debut on April 15, 1964 with the Los Angeles Angels, splitting five-year career between the Angels, Dodgers and Reds. In Lee's first two years in the majors, he became a reliable reliever making the American League All-Star roster in 1965. Lee passed away on March 25, 2020 in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Jim Manning was born on July 21, 1943 in L'Anse, Mich. and made his major league debut on April 15, 1962 with the Minnesota Twins. In his first three outings as a pitcher for the Twins, Manning allowed no earned runs. Manning passed away on January 1, 2020 in Asheville, N.C.

John Matias was born on August 15, 1944 in Honolulu, Hawaii, making his big league debut on April 7, 1970 with the Chicago White Sox. After his time in the majors, Matias became a coach at Pearl City High School and Damien Memorial School. Matias passed away on April 7, 2020 in Oahu, Hawaii.

Bob Oliver was born on February 8, 1943 in Shreveport, La. and made his major league debut on September 10, 1965 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. After eight years in the majors, he ended his career with 94 homeruns - 27 being with the Kansas City Royals in 1970. Oliver spent over 400 games playing first base, over 200 in the outfield, and over 150 at third base. He later ran a baseball academy, named the Bob Oliver Baseball Academy after his playing days. Oliver passed away on Apil 19, 2020 in Rio Linda, Calif.

Jarrod Patterson was born September 7, 1973 in Montgomery, Ala. and made his major league debut on June 16, 2001 with the Detroit Tigers. Patterson is best known for hitting home runs off of Curt Schilling and Brad Radke. Patterson passed away March 11, 2020 in Clanton, Ala.

Don Pavletich was born July 13, 1938 in Milwaukee, Wis. and made his major league debut on April 20, 1957 with the Cincinnati Reds. Pavletich had back-to-back solid season with the Reds in 1965 when he hit .319, and 1966 when he hit .294 with 12 home runs. After his playing career ended, Pavletich became a loan officer with Universal Mortgage Corporation and later retired in Brookfield, Wis. Pavletich passed away March 5, 2020 in Brookfield, Wis.

Ken Retzer was born on April 30, 1934 in Wood River, Ill. and made his major league debut on September 9, 1961 with the Washington Senators. Retzer spent three years in the majors with the Senators, and finished his 16-game debut with a .340/.386/.472 line. While playing catcher for the Senators, Retzer caught the first pitch tossed out by John F. Kennedy on the Senators' Opening Day on April 9th, 1962, and also caught the first pitch of MLB's 100,000th game, on September 6th, 1963; that ball was immediately retired and is in Cooperstown to this day. Ken Retzer passed away on May 17, 2020 in Sun City, Ariz.

Dick Scott was born on March 15, 1933 in Portsmouth, N.H. and made his major league debut on May 8, 1963 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Before beginning his baseball career with the Dodgers in 1956, Scott spent two years in the Army. Scott passed away on February 10, 2020.

Hal Smith was born on December 7, 1930 in West Frankfort, Ill. and made his major league debut on April 11, 1955 with the Baltimore Orioles. During his ten-year career, Smith won a World Series in 1960 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. After his baseball career, he became a salesman for a steel company and a restaurant owner. Smith passed away on January 9, 2020 in Columbus, Texas.

Ed Sprague was born on September 16, 1945 in Boston, Mass. and made his major league debut On April 10, 1968 with the Oakland Athletics. Mainly a reliever during his eight-year MLB career, Sprague played for the Brewers, Reds, Athletics and Cardinals. After retiring from the diamond, Sprague purchased the Stockton Ports and the Lodi Dodgers, and then went on to scout for the Baltimore Orioles 1988, signing Mike Mussina, Jeffrey Hammonds, Brad Bergesen and more. Sprague passed away on January 10, 2020.

Bob Stephenson was born August 11, 1928 in Blair, Okla. and made his big league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on April 14, 1955. While playing in the minors prior to his debut, Stephenson missed the 1953 and 1954 seasons due to military service during the Korean War. After the conclusion of his baseball career, Stephenson became the co-owner of the Potts-Stephenson exploration company in Norman, Okla. before retiring in 2010. Stephenson passed away on March 20, 2020.

Dan Walters was born on August 15, 1966 in Brunswick, Maine and made his major league debut on June 1, 1992 with the San Diego Padres. After his professional catching days ended due to a serious spinal injury in 1996, Walters worked as a police officer for the city of San Diego. While on duty in 2003, Walters was struck by a bullet, then hit by a passing car, paralyzing him from the neck down. After suffering from many physical and emotional complications from the events, Walters passed away on April 23, 2020.

Bob Watson was born on April 10, 1946 in Los Angeles and made his major league debut with the Houston Astros on September 9, 1966. Nicknamed the Bull, Watson played 19 years in the big leagues, hitting .295 and accomplishing historical feats including being the one millionth run in baseball history in 1975, and also being the first player to hit a cycle in both the American and National Leagues in 1977 and 1979. After his playing years were finished, Watson became a coach for the Oakland Athletics, and was later named the general manager for the Astros in 1994 and 1995 - becoming the second African-American GM in baseball history. He then served as vice president of Major League Baseball until retiring in 2010. Watson passed away on May 14, 2020 in Houston, Texas.

Hank Workman was born February 5, 1926 in Los Angeles and made his major league debut with the New York Yankees on September 4, 1950. After a brief time in the majors, Workman played six years in the minors before becoming a lawyer. After earning his law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, Workman worked for the California Attorney General's office before entering into a private practice. Workman passed away March 16, 2020 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Jimmy Wynn was born March 12, 1942 in Hamilton, Ohio, making his major league debut with the Houston Colt .45's on July 10, 1963. Wynn spent 15 years in the majors, 10 of which were spent with Houston. A multi-talented player, Wynn earned three All-Star accolades and had his #24 retired by the Astros in 2005. Wynn was also a member of the Astros' Hall of Fame class in 2019. After his playing career, Wynn frequently participated in MLBPAA fundraising events and Legends for Youth clinics. Wynn passed away on March 26, 2020 in Houston.

George Yankowski was born November 19, 1922 in Cambridge, Mass. and made his major league debut on August 17, 1942 with the Philadelphia Athletics. Yankowski then missed the next three seasons due to military service with the U.S. Army during World War II. After the war, he returned to the big leagues with the Chicago White Sox, finishing his playing career in 1949. Yankowski retired in 2010 and returned to his hometown of Cambridge, Mass. Yankowski passed away February 25, 2020 in The Villages, Fla.