Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Goodbye Al

Sadly, another former Orioles player has died this year when Al Pilarcik passed away on September 20. I couldn't find a cause of death listed, but it's always sad when a former Oriole leaves this world behind. 2010 has been an especially bad year for former O's, as Al becomes the tenth Oriole to pass away this year after Curt Motton (1/21), Bob Chakales (2/18), Frank Bertaina (3/3), Billy Hoeft (3/16), Mike Cuellar (4/2), Robin Roberts (5/6), Morrie Martin (5/25), Billy Loes (7/15), and Bobby Thomson (8/16). I'm guessing that 2010 has seen more former Orioles die than any other year.  It somewhat makes sense as the franchise started in 1954 so many of the guys who played for the team in the mid-50's are getting old nowadays.  With over three months to go in the year, I can't help but feel that Al might not be the last Oriole to die this year the way things have gone so far.

Al played all three outfield positions, but chiefly was a right-fielder, during his 6 seasons in the Majors from 1956-61. He played 517 of his 668 games with the Orioles from 1957-60,  played two stints with the Kansas City A's and finished his career with the White Sox. 

After retiring from baseball, Al spent 34 years as a high school health teacher in St. John, Indiana, where he also coached baseball, football and basketball. In his later years, he taught part-time at Indiana University.  He was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.  Here's a link to his obituary. RIP Al.

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