Former Major League outfielder Pafko dies at 92
Former Milwaukee Braves right fielder Andy Pafko, who was the team's right fielder until Hank Aaron came to the Majors, died on Tuesday. He was 92.
A five-time All-Star and Wisconsin native, Pafko began his Major League career with the Chicago Cubs in 1943.
Pafko helped lead the Cubs to the World Series in 1945, which remains the team's last trip to the Series. He batted .298 with 12 home runs and a career-high 110 RBIs that season and finished fourth in the National League Most Valuable Player balloting that year.
"I played during a great era of baseball," Pafko told the Chicago Tribune in a 2004 interview. "I was fortunate to play in the World Series for three different teams in my career -- the Chicago Cubs, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Milwaukee Braves. There have been so many great Cubs ballplayers like Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ron Santo who never got the chance to play in a World Series."
The Cubs traded him to the Dodgers during the 1951 season in an eight-player deal.
In the middle of plenty of historic moments, Pafko was in left field at the Polo Grounds in 1951 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers when the Giants' Bobby Thomson hit the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" into the left-field stands that won the National League pennant.
Pafko moved to the Milwaukee Braves soon after that, but lost the job to Aaron in 1955.
During his 17-year career, Pafko hit .285 with 213 home runs and 976 RBIs in 1,852 games, playing in four World Series for three different teams.
"As Cubs fans, we remember Andy Pafko among the great Chicago sports stories," Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement Wednesday. "His role on the 1945 team earned him a place in Cubs history and he remained a beloved alum who stayed engaged with fans through visits at Wrigley Field and Cubs Convention for decades.
"Our entire Cubs family is saddened by Andy's passing. He was a hero to many and will be forever remembered as one of the greatest players and men to ever wear a Cubs uniform."
The funeral will be Monday at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8600 W. Lawrence Ave., Norridge, Ill. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. CT-noon CT, and the service will begin at noon CT. There will be a private reception for family members only after the funeral.