Brooklyn native and longtime Yankee Pepitone passes away

March 13th, 2023

Joe Pepitone, a powerful and popular player who spent eight seasons with the Yankees during the 1960s, passed away on Monday. He was 82 years old.

A Brooklyn native, Pepitone debuted with the Yankees at the age of 21 in 1962. After the team traded Moose Skowron following that season, Pepitone became the Yankees’ everyday first baseman as well as one of their best run producers. From 1963-66, he clubbed 104 home runs, made three All-Star teams and won two Gold Gloves.

Pepitone replaced a hobbled Mickey Mantle as the Yankees’ center fielder in 1967 and 1968. Once Mantle retired following that latter season, Pepitone moved back to first base for the ‘69 campaign and earned another Gold Glove.

Joe Pepitone poses with his Gold Glove Award

"The Yankees are deeply saddened by the passing of former Yankee Joe Pepitone, whose playful and charismatic personality and on-field contributions made him a favorite of generations of Yankees fans even beyond his years with the team in the 1960s,” the Yankees said in a statement.

“As a native New Yorker, he embraced everything about being a Yankee during both his playing career -- which included three All-Star appearances and three Gold Gloves -- and in the decades thereafter. You always knew when Joe walked into a room -- his immense pride in being a Yankee was always on display. He will be missed by our entire organization, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him."

Joe Pepitone poses as a member of the Cubs

Pepitone was traded to the Astros prior to the 1970 season and spent time with the Cubs and Braves before playing in his final Major League game in 1973.

The left-handed slugger returned to the Yankees following his playing days. He was hired by the club as a Minor League coach in 1980 and was instrumental in teaching a young Don Mattingly the intricacies of first base.

Pepitone briefly served as a Major League coach for the Yankees in 1982 and also worked in the team’s front office during the 1980s.