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  1. #1041
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    Willie Brown, a HOF CB who spent most of his career with the Oakland Raiders, died on 10/21 at age 78.

    Brown began his career in the AFL with Denver for 4 years (1963-66). He joined Oakland in 1967 and played there up to his retirement after the 1978 season. He was part of one Super Bowl winner as well as one AFL Championship team, and made the Pro Bowl on 9 occasions, as well as being selected to the All-Pro team 5 times.

    Dave Miedema



  2. #1042
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    Ron Fairly, a 21-year Major Leaguer who played 1B, the outfield, and DH'd, died on 10/30 at age 81.

    Fairly was a Dodger from 1958 through early-season 1969, when he was dealt to the Expos. He stayed there through 1974. For his final 4 seasons, he split time between the Cardinals, A's, Blue Jays and Angels. His season with Toronto was the team's inaugural year.

    Dave Miedema




  3. #1043
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    Unhappy New Mexico FB player dies at age 21

    Nahje Flowers, a DL for the University of New Mexico, died on 11/5 at age 21. Cause of death at this time has not been announced.

    With the team and the school both in mourning, their weekend game against Air Force has been postponed until 11/23.

    Dave Miedema

  4. #1044
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    Zeke Bratkowski, former QB for the Bears and Packers, died on Veterans' Day at age 88. Cause of death is not known at this time.

    Drafted by the Bears in 1953, the US Air Force veteran served as a backup to Bart Starr on the Packers squads that won both of the first 2 Super Bowls.

    Dave Miedema





  5. #1045
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    Charles Rogers, a WR out of Michigan State who was a back-up pass catcher for the Lions from 2003-05, died on Veterans' Day at age 38.

    Dave Miedema




  6. #1046
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    Jim Coates, a RHP who appeared in 3 World Series for the Yankees, died on 11/15 at age 87.

    After a September call-up in 1956, Coates pitched for the Yankees from 1959-1962, the latter 3 years being the ones he was part of a World Series Yankees team. He split 1963 between the Senators and the Reds, then finished up his career with 3 seasons on the Angels' mound staff (1965=67).

    Dave Miedema



  7. #1047
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    Irv Noren, an OF best remembered as a Yankee, but who also played for several other teams from 1950-60, died on 11/15, two weeks before his 95th birthday.

    Noren played in 3 World Series with the Yankees, all of which the Bronx Bombers won (152-53 and 1955). However, his best season was his first, which was with the Washington Senator. He hit .295 while setting career season highs with 14 HR and 98 RBI.

    Noren also played for the Cardinals, Cubs and Dodgers, and both played (Kansas City) and coached (Oakland) for the Athletics.

    Dave Miedema





  8. #1048
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    Ryan Costello, a Twins prospect from Connecticut who was playing baseball in Australia during the current offseason, died on 11/18 at age 23. Preliminary indications from Australia indicate his death was due to natural causes, but no official determination has been made as of yet.

    Drafted by Seattle in 2017, he was dealt from the Mariners' farm system to that of the Twins during the 2018 MiLB season. His 2019 season was split between High-A and AA ball.

    Dave Miedema


  9. #1049
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    Ryan Costello, an American-born minor leaguer playing in Australia during the current MiLB offseason, died on 11/18 at age 23. Initial reports from Auckland indicate death by natural causes, but no final analysis has been confirmed as of yet.

    Drafted by Seattle in 2017, Costello played in the Mariners' farm system til mid-season of 2018, where he was traded to the Twins organization. He split 2019 between High-A and AA baseball.

    Dave Miedema




  10. #1050
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    Bob Johnson, a utility IF who played in The Show for several teams from 1960-70, died on 11/9 at age 83.

    Best remembered as an Oriole, Johnson was a member of the 1966 World Series winning team. He was with the O's from 1963-66 and for 4 games in 1967 before being dealt to the Mets. He split his final 3 season between 4 different teams: the Reds, Braves, Cardinals and Oaklamd A's, the team he began his MLB career with in 1960, when they were based in Kansas City.

    He was an original Washington Senator (expansion team version) and had his best year while with them in 1962, playing in 135 games and hitting .288 with 12 HR and 43 RBI.

    As a side hobby-related note, autographs he signed post-career that were mailed to him were often signed as Bob "Rocky" Johnson.


    Dave Miedema



 

 

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