Vic Davalillo, former Cleveland outfielder, passes away

December 12th, 2023

CLEVELAND -- Former Cleveland outfielder Vic Davalillo passed away on Dec. 6 following emergency surgery due to an intestinal obstruction and renal insufficiency, according to his daughter, Helga Davalillo.

Davalillo was in his 80s. Baseball Reference listed him as 84 years old, but there are other outlets that list him as 87. The Venezuela native spent 16 seasons in the Major Leagues, starting in 1963 in Cleveland and ending in ‘80 in Los Angeles.

Davalillo was originally signed by the Reds in 1958, but his contract was purchased by Cleveland in ’61. After winning the Triple-A International League batting title in ’62, the outfielder joined Cleveland’s big league squad on Opening Day in ‘63. In his second season, Davalillo was awarded a Gold Glove, and in ’65, he was named to his first and only All-Star Game.

The six-year stint Davalillo enjoyed with Cleveland was his longest stay with any of the six clubs he played for. In that time, he hit .278 with a .312 on-base percentage, 88 doubles and 20 triples. But in June of 1968, the team sent Davalillo to the California Angels in exchange for Jimmie Hall.

Davalillo bounced around from California to St. Louis to Pittsburgh to Oakland to Los Angeles over the next 12 years. In that time, he won World Series titles with the Pirates (1971) and A’s (’73). He ended his career with a .279 average, a .680 OPS, 160 doubles, 37 triples and 36 homers.

Davalillo’s older brother Pompeyo (known as Yo-Yo), who passed away in 2013, was a shortstop who was signed by the Washington Senators in 1953, but he played in just 19 big league games.