Baseball

Joe Pepitone Passes Away

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The Yankees announced today that former major league first baseman/outfielder Joe Pepitone has passed away at the age of 82. “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 statement reads. “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.”

Pepitone first signed with the Yankees as an amateur in 1958 and was able to make his major league debut in 1962. He got into 63 games for the Yankees that year, hitting seven home runs and batting .239. He didn’t make any postseason appearances that year, though the Yanks did go on to win that World Series.

He would go on to establish himself more firmly the next season, hitting 27 home runs in 157 games while batting .271. He would remain a fixture of the club’s lineup for the remainder of that decade, playing at least 100 games in each season from 1963 to 1969, hitting at least 13 long balls in each of those. He also won three Gold Glove awards in that stretch, one in 1965, 1966 and 1969, in addition to being selection to the All-Star game three straight years beginning in 1963.

He was traded to the Astros prior to the 1970 season and then was traded to the Cubs midway through that campaign. He’d go onto to spend roughly three years with the Cubs before getting traded to Atlanta in the middle of the 1973 season. He only played three games for Atlanta, which were the last of his major league career. He went to Japan that summer to join the Yakult Atoms, now known as the Yakult Swallows, but he hit just .163 in 14 games.

Pepitone’s major league career finished with him having appeared in 1,397 games. He racked up 1,315 hits, including 219 home runs. He stole 41 bases, scored 606 runs and drove in 721. We at MLB Trade Rumors join others in sending condolences to Pepitone’s family, friends, acquaintances and all those mourning him today.

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