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1979 in Baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1979 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
- May 9 - With the score tied 4-4 in the ninth inning, and Jimmy Sexton on first base with no outs, the Houston Astros' Terry Puhl lays down a sacrifice bunt. The Cardinals attempt to get the lead runner on the play, however, second base umpire Dave Pallone calls Sexton safe, claiming that Garry Templeton never touched the bag. Cardinals manager Ken Boyer, First baseman Keith Hernandez and catcher Ted Simmons are ejected from the game. Players on the Cardinals bench begin throwing bats and helmets onto the field in protest. As a result, Pallone orders the entire Cardinals bench into the clubhouse, allowing players only to come onto the field as needed. The Cardinals would get out of the inning without a run scoring; however, they would lose in the sixteenth inning.
- May 17 - Dave Kingman of the Chicago Cubs hits three home runs and Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies hits two, the second of which proves to be the game winner in the tenth inning, as the Phillies beat the Cubs 23-22 at Wrigley Field. Bill Buckner had a grand slam and seven RBIs for Chicago. The game included a then Major League record 11 home runs and 50 hits.
- May 25 - Starter Ross Baumgarten and reliever Randy Scarbery pitched the first combined one-hitter in Chicago White Sox history, defeating Nolan Ryan and the California Angels, 6-1, at Comiskey Park.
- May 28 - Texas Rangers first baseman Mike Jorgensen is hit in the head by a pitch from Boston Red Sox pitcher Andy Hassler. Dave Roberts comes into the game to pinch run for Jorgensen, and Pat Putnam takes over as the Rangers' regular first baseman for the next month. Aside from a pinch-hit appearance on May 31, Jorgensen does not play again until July 1. After suffering headaches, it is discovered he has a small blood clot inside his head, which apparently caused a seizure and could have resulted in his early demise.
- May 31 - Detroit Tigers pitcher Pat Underwood makes his major league debut against his brother, Tom, pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays. Both brothers hold the opposing team scoreless until Tom surrendered a solo home run to Jerry Morales leading off the eighth.
- July 12 - The Detroit Tigers win the first game of a scheduled doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, 4-1, on Disco Demolition Night at Chicago's Comiskey Park. Thousands of young fans swarm onto the field between the games, damaging the field and causing mayhem throughout the stadium. The White Sox are forced to forfeit the second game.
- July 13 - In a rare event, Nolan Ryan of the California Angels and Steve Renko of the Boston Red Sox take separate no-hitters into the ninth inning before they both lose the no hit bids. Ryan's no-hit bid against the New York Yankees benefitted from some questionable official scoring; Jim Spencer's drive to center that Angels centerfielder Rick Miller barely got a glove on was ruled an error. In the ninth, Thurman Munson reached on an error by shortstop Jim Anderson. Two batters later, Reggie Jackson singled to center to unquestionably break up the no-hitter. The next batter, Lou Piniella hit a sacrifice fly to score Munson, and break up the shutout. The run was, however, unearned. Ryan's Angels defeat the Yankees, 6-1. Renko's no-hit bid against the Oakland Athletics is broken up by Rickey Henderson with one out. After recording a second out, Renko walks Mitchell Page, and is pulled in favor of Bill Campbell by Red Sox manager Don Zimmer. Campbell strikes out the only batter he faces, Dave Revering to earn the save, however, Renko is denied the shutout as a result. The Red Sox defeat the A's, 2-0. Ryan's feat, however, receives considerably more attention as the game was nationally televised on ABC's Monday Night Baseball and Ryan (while pitching the game) was on the ensuing issue's cover of Sports Illustrated.
- July 17 - The National League wins its eighth straight All-Star Game, 7-6, at Seattle. Lee Mazzilli hits a home run to tie the game in the eighth, and walks in the ninth to bring in the winning run. Dave Parker, with two outstanding throws, is named the MVP, and Pete Rose appears in the game playing first base, making him the only player in MLB history to appear in the game at five different positions in the field in his All-Star game career.
- July 24 - Boston's Carl Yastrzemski hits his 400th home run off Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Morgan in the 7th inning of the Red Sox's 7-3 win over the Athletics at Boston's Fenway Park.
- July 27 - Bert Blyleven of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches a 9-1 complete game victory against the Montreal Expos. However, he also strikes out five times as a hitter in the game, becoming the only pitcher in major league history to do so.
- August 2 - The Chicago White Sox announce that Don Kessinger has been fired as manager, and that he will be replaced by rookie manager Tony La Russa.
- August 3 - Over 51,000 mourners attend a memorial service for New York Yankees captain Thurman Munson at Yankee Stadium, who was killed the day before in a plane crash.
- August 5 - Fred Lynn hits his 100th career home run, helping the Red Sox beat Milwaukee Brewers 7-2.
- August 6 - The entire New York Yankee team flies to Canton, Ohio for captain Thurman Munson's funeral. Hours later, the team returns to New York City and defeats the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 at Yankee Stadium, before a national viewing audience on ABC's Monday Night Baseball. Bobby Murcer, one of Munson's best friends, drives in all five Yankee runs with a three-run home run in the seventh inning and a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth.
- August 13 - The St. Louis Cardinals' Lou Brock slashes his 3,000th hit off the hand of Chicago Cubs pitcher Dennis Lamp in a 3-2 Cardinals win at Busch Memorial Stadium.
- August 22 - At Riverfront Stadium, Johnny Bench breaks Frank Robinson's record for most home runs by a Cincinnati Red. His shot, the 325th home run of his career (all with the Reds), comes off Stan Bahnsen in the fourth inning of the Reds' 7-2 victory over the Montreal Expos.
- August 24 - The Philadelphia Phillies retire eventual Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn's number 1.
- September 11 - Dave Concepción and George Foster hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning off Houston Astros ace reliever Joe Sambito and the Cincinnati Reds hold off the Astros 9-8. The Reds trailed the Astros by 1/2 game and moved into first place to stay in the National League West.
- September 12 - The Boston Red Sox's Carl Yastrzemski records his 3000th career hit with a single off of pitcher Jim Beattie during a 9-2 win over the rival New York Yankees at Fenway Park. He is the first American League player to reach both 3,000 hits and 400 home runs.
- September 14 - The Minnesota Twins trade All-Star first baseman Rod Carew to the California Angels for Dave Engle, Paul Hartzell and Brad Havens. Carew, who hit .333 for the Twins in 1978 but had vowed never to play again for team's owner Calvin Griffith after he made disparaging remarks against black players a few months earlier, will hit .318 for the Angels for the rest of the season. Carew will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.
- September 15 - As part of a 10-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox's Bob Watson hits for the cycle. Having done it for the Houston Astros on June 24, 1977, he is the first player to do this in both leagues.
- September 17 - George Brett hits his 20th triple of the season. He is the first player since Willie Mays in 1957 to join the 20-20-20 club.
- September 23 - Lou Brock steals the 938th base of his career, breaking Billy Hamilton's all-time National League record. Brock's St. Louis Cardinals defeat the New York Mets 7-4 in ten innings.
- September 24 - Pete Rose collects his 200th hit of the season, giving him ten seasons with at least 200 hits. This breaks the record set by Ty Cobb.
- September 28 - Garry Templeton of the St. Louis Cardinals collects his 100th hit of the season while batting right-handed. Having already collected 100 hits while batting left-handed, Templeton is the first player in history to accomplish this. He had batted right-handed, exclusively, for the last week of the season to get the needed hits.
- September 28 - The Cincinnati Reds' Frank Pastore pitches a complete-game 3-0 shutout over the Atlanta Braves, clinching the National League West Division title for the Reds.
- October 17 - In Game Seven of the World Series, Willie Stargell hits his third home run of the Series to send the Pittsburgh Pirates to their third straight win over the Baltimore Orioles, to win the World Series Championship. Stargell wins Series MVP honors. The Pirates came back from a deficit of 3 games-to-1.
- October 23 - Yankee manager Billy Martin gets into a barroom fight with Joseph Cooper, a marshmallow salesman from Minnesota. Six days later, Martin is fired from the Yankees and replaced with Dick Howser.
- November 13 - For the first time ever, there will be League co-MVPs as Keith Hernandez of the St. Louis Cardinals shares the National League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award with Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Stargell is the oldest person to win this award (since broken by Barry Bonds in 2004). The Pirates have thus won (or shared) all four "Most Valuable Player" awards for the season (All-Star Game, National League Championship Series, World Series, and National League regular season). This is the first such sweep in Major League history (Stargell had won the awards for the NLCS, World Series, and National League regular season, while teammate Dave Parker won the All-Star Game award).
- November 20 - California Angels outfielder and DH Don Baylor wins the American League Most Valuable Player Award after hitting .296 with 36 home runs and a major league-leading 120 runs scored and 139 runs batted in. Baylor receives 20 of 28 first-place votes to become the first Angel ever to win MVP honors.
- November 26 - Third baseman John Castino, who batted .285 for the Minnesota Twins, and shortstop Alfredo Griffin, who hit .287 for the Toronto Blue Jays, tie for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, each receiving seven of the 28 first-place votes. The deadlock precipitates a change in the voting system, effective in 1980.
- November 28 - Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rick Sutcliffe, who posted a 17-10 record with a 3.46 ERA for a sub-.500 team, receives 20 of first-place 24 votes to earn the National League Rookie of the Year honors. Right fielders Jeffrey Leonard of the Houston Astros (3) and Scot Thompson of the Chicago Cubs (1) receive the other votes.
- January 4 - Bobby Murray, 80, third baseman in ten games for 1923 Washington Senators
- January 5 - George Washburn, 64, pitcher who spent 16 years in minor leagues, but appeared in only one major-league game, on May 4, 1941, for the New York Yankees
- January 9 - Hinkey Haines, 80, professional baseball and football player; played 12 minor-league campaigns and a single major-league season, appearing in 28 games as an outfielder and pinch runner for 1923 American League champion New York Yankees, then two games in 1923 World Series, helping the Yankees win their first world title; in his final MLB contest, in Game 6, he pinch ran during the Yanks' eighth-inning, Series-deciding rally, scoring tying run; played as a halfback in the National Football League for two teams, including the New York football Giants, between 1925 and 1932
- January 9 - Charley Stis, 94, who spent more than six decades in professional baseball as a player, manager, scout and umpire
- January 21 - Sam Leslie, 73, line drive-hitting first baseman who played in 822 games over all or part of ten seasons for the New York Giants (1929-1933 and 1936-1938) and Brooklyn Dodgers (1933-1935); batted .304 lifetime with 749 career hits
- January 25 - Charlene Barnett, 50, who played second base in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1949 to 1952 and was a member of three champion teams
- January 26 - Nemo Gaines, 81, left-handed pitcher and U.S. Naval Academy graduate who threw 42⁄3 innings of shutout relief in four appearances for the Washington Senators in the midsummer of 1921; left baseball to return to active naval service, where he rose to the rank of captain and retired after World War II
- January 29 - Andy Harrington, 75, minor league infielder between 1925 and 1942, who made one appearance in the majors, going hitless in one at bat as a pinch hitter for the Detroit Tigers on April 18, 1925
- February 1 - Milt Byrnes, 62, outfielder in 390 career games for 1943-1945 St. Louis Browns; member of 1944 American League champions, the only St. Louis-based team to conquer the Junior Circuit
- February 7 - Warren Giles, 82, Hall of Fame baseball executive; president of the National League from 1951 to 1969; previously, general manager of the Cincinnati Reds from 1937 to 1951; father of longtime executive Bill Giles
- February 8 - Alex Gaston, 85, catcher for the New York Giants (1920-1923) and Boston Red Sox (1926 and 1929) who got into 215 major-league games; brother of pitcher Milt Gaston, whose no-hitter Alex broke up with a seventh-inning single on September 12, 1926
- February 8 - Art Williams, 44, the first black umpire in the National League, working from 1972 to 1977 including the 1975 NLCS
- February 12 - Bill Vargus, 79, southpaw hurler for 1925-1926 Boston Braves, appearing in 15 games
- February 26 - Forrest Thompson, 60, left-handed pitcher who worked in 55 career games for the Washington Senators (1948-1949)
- March 2 - Dale Alexander, 75, first baseman who batted .331 in five seasons with the Tigers and Red Sox, winning the 1932 batting title, before an injury ended his career; later a longtime scout
- March 18 - Percy Jones, 79, left-handed pitcher who appeared in 251 games for the Chicago Cubs (1920-1922, 1925-1928), Boston Braves (1929) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1930)
- March 23 - Don Osborn, 70, longtime minor league pitcher and manager who served three terms as pitching coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates between 1963 and 1976; member of 1971 World Series champions
- March 29 - Luke Easter, 63, first baseman in the Negro leagues, then with Cleveland Indians (1949-1954); slugged 86 home runs with 307 RBI over his first three full MLB seasons (1950-1952); spent one season, 1969, as Cleveland's hitting coach
- March 31 - Bob Schultz, 55, left-handed pitcher who worked in 65 games over four big-league campaigns with the Chicago Cubs (1951-1953), Pittsburgh Pirates (1953) and Detroit Tigers (1955)
- April 3 - Harry Simpson, 53, outfielder and first baseman who led the AL in triples twice during his eight-year career with five clubs between 1951 and 1959
- April 6 - Al Evans, 62, catcher in 704 games in a dozen MLB seasons, 11 of them for the Washington Senators (1939-1942 and 1944-1950); later a minor league manager
- April 6 - Rudy Kallio, 86, pitcher who hurled in 49 contests for the Detroit Tigers (1918-19) and Boston Red Sox (1925); later a coach for Triple-A Portland Beavers and scout for the Chicago Cubs
- April 11 - Eddie Wilson, 69, outfielder who was hitting .347 in 52 games as a rookie for 1936 Brooklyn Dodgers when his skull was fractured by a beanball, August 26; returned to Dodgers in 1937 but only played in 36 more games, and spent the rest of his 13-year career in the minors, retiring in 1941
- April 12 - Sam Edmonston, 95, Washington Senators pitcher who logged three innings in his only big-league game, on June 24, 1907 against Philadelphia; at his death, the oldest living former MLB player
- April 13 - Frankie Kelleher, 62, outfielder in 47 games for 1942-1943 Cincinnati Reds; became mainstay of the minor-league Hollywood Stars, playing ten seasons for them (1944 and 1946-1954) and earning a spot in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame
- April 18 - Lindsay Deal, 67, pinch hitter and outfielder who made it into four games for the 1939 Brooklyn Dodgers
- April 21 - Cliff Bolton, 72, lefty-swinging catcher and pinch hitter for the Washington Senators (1931, 1933-1936 and 1941) and Detroit Tigers (1937); batted .410 in a part-time role for 1933 American League champions (.429 as a pinch hitter) and .291 lifetime with 280 hits in 335 career MLB games
- April 27 - Jim Mooney, 72, left-handed hurler who worked in 92 games for the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals from 1931 to 1934; member of 1934 World Series champion "Gashouse Gang" Cardinals; longtime college baseball coach
- April 29 - John Allyn, 61, Chicago business executive involved in ownership of the White Sox from 1961 until his death; co-owner (with his brother Arthur Jr.) from 1961-1969, owner and club president from 1969-1975, and minority owner and member of Bill Veeck's syndicate since 1975
- April 30 - Wally Kopf, 79, third baseman and second baseman who appeared in two career games for 1921 New York Giants; brother of Larry Kopf
- May 3 - Tom Jenkins, 81, outfielder who appeared in 171 total games for the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns over six seasons between 1925 and 1932
- May 5 - Bill Lucas, 43, general manager of the Atlanta Braves since September 1976 and the first African-American general manager in MLB history; previously, a player and executive in the Braves' organization since 1957
- May 6 - Al "Ace" Elliott, 81, first baseman in 63 total games for 1923-1924 Chicago Cubs
- May 6 - Charlie Ripple, 56, left-handed pitcher who worked in 11 games in three brief stints with the 1944-1946 Philadelphia Phillies
- May 6 - Bunny Roser, 77, outfielder in 32 games for the 1922 Boston Braves
- May 7 - Marty McHale, 92, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians between 1910 and 1916, working in 64 career games; appeared on vaudeville stage during off-seasons
- May 9 - Charlie Hargreaves, 82, catcher in 423 games for the Brooklyn Robins and Pittsburgh Pirates between 1923 and 1930
- May 12 - Clyde Kluttz, 61, catcher, scout and executive; appeared in 656 MLB games for six clubs (1942-1948 and 1951-1952); scouted for Kansas City Athletics (signing teenaged pitcher Catfish Hunter) and New York Yankees; then, during his term as Yankees' director of scouting/player development, he recruited free agent Hunter to the Bombers after the 1974 season; moved to Baltimore Orioles as vice president/player development, serving from 1976 until his death
- May 18 - Ray Blades, 82, left fielder, manager, coach and scout; batted .301 in 767 career games for the St. Louis Cardinals between 1922 and 1932; played on four NL pennant-winners and 1926 and 1931 World Series champions; managed Redbirds from 1939 to June 6, 1940; coached for Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs for a dozen seasons between 1930 and 1956
- May 23 - Hiroshi Oshita, 56, Hall of Fame first baseman who played for the Toei Flyers from 1946 to 1951 and the Nishitetsu Lions from 1952 to 1959
- May 29 - Sig Jakucki, 69, hot-tempered pitcher for St. Louis Browns (1936 and 1944-1945) who hurled a complete-game victory on October 1, 1944, to seal the only American League pennant the St. Louis entry ever won; lost his only decision in 1944 World Series; known for alcoholism and brawling, he was kicked off the 1945 Browns on September 1 and never returned to the major leagues
- May 30 - Joe Smaza, 55, outfielder who played two games for the Chicago White Sox in September 1946
- June 8 - Muriel Coben, 58, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitcher, and member of a Canadian women's curling champion team
- June 11 - Fred Martin, 63, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals (1946, 1949-1950) who appeared in 57 career games; later a minor league manager and pitching instructor for the Chicago Cubs, where he taught the split-finger fastball to eventual Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter; was pitching coach of the Chicago White Sox at the time of his passing
- June 12 - Bill Brenzel, 69, catcher who appeared in nine games for 1932 Pittsburgh Pirates and 67 contests for 1934-1935 Cleveland Indians; later, a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1948 to 1950 and the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1951 until his death
- June 17 - Duffy Lewis, 91, left fielder for the Boston Red Sox from 1910 to 1917 who starred on three champions (1912, 1915, 1916) and mastered Fenway Park's sloping left field; also played for Yankees and Senators between 1919 and 1921; longtime traveling secretary of the Boston and Milwaukee Braves
- June 18 - Hal Trosky, 66, slugging first baseman for the Cleveland Indians between 1933 and 1941 whose career was shortened by persistent migraine headaches; led American League in runs batted in 1936 with 162; batted .302 lifetime with 228 home runs and six 100-RBI seasons; his son briefly pitched in majors
- June 29 - Johnny Bassler, 84, good-hitting catcher who appeared in 44 games for the 1913-1914 Cleveland Naps and 767 contests for the 1921-1927 Detroit Tigers, batting .304 lifetime in 2,319 at bats; coached with Cleveland and the St. Louis Browns between 1938 and 1941; also batted .318 with 1,379 hits in 1,567 minor-league games
- June 29 - Steamboat Williams, 87, pitcher who worked in 36 career games for 1914 and 1916 St. Louis Cardinals
- July 2 - Ed Stauffer, 81, pitcher in 21 total games for 1923 Chicago Cubs and 1925 St. Louis Browns
- July 12 - Tom Lovelace, 81, pinch hit in one game with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1922
- July 15 - John Holland, 69, longtime baseball executive; general manager of the Chicago Cubs from 1957 through 1975
- July 22 - Amos Strunk, 90, center fielder for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox between 1908 and 1924; appeared in 1,512 games and was a member of four World Series champion teams (1910, 1911, 1913, 1918)
- July 26 - Bill DeKoning, 60, catcher who played in three games (and was hitless in his lone at bat) for 1945 New York Giants
- August 2 - Thurman Munson, 32, seven-time All-Star catcher for the New York Yankees since 1969 who batted .300 five times and won the 1976 MVP award; 1970 Rookie of the Year won three Gold Gloves and batted .357 in 30 postseason games; two-time (1977 and 1978) World Series champion
- August 7 - Hal Wagner, 64, catcher who played 672 career games for Philadelphia Athletics (1937-1944), Boston Red Sox (1944-1947), Detroit Tigers (1947-1948) and Philadelphia Phillies (1948-1949); two-time American League All-Star
- August 9 - Walter O'Malley, 75, principal owner of the Dodgers franchise from 1950 to 1975, and sole owner from 1975 until his death; moved the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles (1958) and constructed Dodger Stadium (opened 1962); during his tenure, the Dodgers won four World Series titles (1955, 1959, 1963, 1965); named to Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, a half-century after moving his club to Los Angeles
- August 14 - Mack Wheat, 86, weak-hitting backup catcher for Brooklyn Robins (1915-1919) and Philadelphia Phillies (1920-1921), playing in 225 total games; brother of Hall of Famer Zach Wheat
- August 17 - Bill Grieve, 83, American League umpire from 1938 to 1955; worked in three World Series and two All-Star games
- August 26 - Dizzy Sutherland, 57, left-handed hurler given a one-game audition with Washington Senators, September 20, 1949; starting against St. Louis, he walked six of the 11 batters he faced and surrendered five earned runs in one full inning pitched, to be tagged with Washington's 15-6 defeat
- September 4 - Turkey Stearnes, 78, center fielder in the Negro leagues who led the Negro National League in home runs six times while batting .350
- September 8 - Rick Joseph, 40, third baseman and first baseman who appeared in 270 career games for the 1964 Kansas City Athletics and 1967-1970 Philadelphia Phillies
- September 16 - Charlie Deal, 87, third baseman who played 851 games for five MLB teams (including his Federal League service); started all four games of the 1914 World Series for the "Miracle" world-champion Boston Braves who was the last surviving member of that team; also the starter in the "hot corner" for the 1918 NL champion Chicago Cubs
- September 18 - Gene Kelly, 60, sportscaster; member of the Philadelphia Phillies' announcing crew from 1950 to 1959.
- October 4 - Fred Graf, 90, third baseman who had a 16-year career in the minor leagues, interrupted by a four-game trial with the 1913 St. Louis Browns
- October 20 - Cy Slapnicka, 93, pitcher, scout and executive who spent 60 years in baseball; appeared in only ten total MLB games for 1911 Chicago Cubs and 1918 Pittsburgh Pirates, but became one of the most celebrated scouts of his day working for the Cleveland Indians; signed Hall of Famers Lou Boudreau, fellow Iowan Bob Feller and Bob Lemon among many other stars; general manager of the Indians from 1935 to 1940
- October 22 - John Drebinger, 88, sportswriter for The New York Times for 41 years
- October 29 - Mel Ingram, 75, whose entire pro baseball career consisted of three major-league games as a pinch runner for 1929 Pittsburgh Pirates; he scored one run
- November 4 - Johnny Priest, 88, infielder who played ten total games in stints for the 1911-1912 New York Highlanders
- November 4 - Lancelot "Yank" Terry, 68, pitcher who--despite his nickname--spent his entire MLB career with Boston Red Sox, appearing in 93 games over five seasons (1940 and 1942-1945)
- November 15 - Ken Ash, 78, pitcher who appeared in two games for the 1925 Chicago White Sox and 53 contests for the 1928-1930 Cincinnati Reds
- November 15 - Ed Klieman, 61, pitcher who worked in 222 games for the Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, White Sox and Philadelphia Athletics between 1943 and 1950
- November 16 - Jack Butterfield, 50, vice president/player development and scouting of the New York Yankees and former head baseball coach of the University of Maine (1957-1974) and the University of South Florida (1975-1976); father of Brian Butterfield
- November 16 - Joseph Iglehart, 88, investment banker, CBS stockholder and board member, and baseball club owner; joined Baltimore Orioles' ownership group in autumn of 1953, when the team moved from St. Louis; became the largest shareholder and served as board chairman from 1955 to 1964; sold his Orioles' stock to Jerold Hoffberger when CBS purchased the New York Yankees in 1964, then joined the Yankees' board of directors, serving until CBS sold the Bombers to George Steinbrenner's syndicate in 1973; continued as limited partner in Steinbrenner's group until he sold his interest in 1977
- November 18 - Freddie Fitzsimmons, 78, knuckleball pitcher who won 217 games for the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers; manager of Philadelphia Phillies from July 28, 1943 to June 29, 1945; later, a longtime coach associated with manager Leo Durocher
- November 28 - Herb Bremer, 66, second-string catcher who appeared in 70 games for the St. Louis Cardinals between 1937 and 1939
- December 4 - Bert Delmas, 68, infielder who played 12 games for the 1933 Brooklyn Dodgers
- December 14 - Vinnie Smith, 64, MLB catcher and umpire; appeared in 16 total games for Pittsburgh Pirates (1941 and 1946), then umpired in the National League from 1957 through 1965; officiated for the two All-Star Games played in 1960, and the 1964 World Series
- December 15 - Stan Hack, 70, five-time All-Star third baseman for the Chicago Cubs who batted .301 lifetime and posted a .394 career on-base percentage, the highest of any 20th-century third baseman; scored 100 runs seven times and led NL in hits and steals twice each; as Cubs' manager (1954-1956) and interim skipper of St. Louis Cardinals (September 17 through end of 1958 season), compiled a 199-272 record
- December 28 - Jim Mosolf, 74, pinch hitter and backup outfielder who played in 118 games for the 1929-1931 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1933 Chicago Cubs
- December 29 - Ed Albrecht, 50, pitcher and minor-league phenom who appeared in three total games for 1949-1950 St. Louis Browns; won 29 games (losing 12) with 389 strikeouts in 1949 for Pine Bluff of the Class C Cotton States League; called up by Browns in September, he threw a five-inning, one-hit victory against the White Sox on October 2 for his only MLB triumph (the game, although "official" because it lasted five full innings, was halted because of darkness and a Sunday curfew)