For at least the fourth
consecutive year, the man who I believe was the oldest living former Cardinals
player passed away. In 2010, it was Don
Lang, the 95-year-old former third baseman from the 1948 club who died on
Herman Franks, then 95, passed away in 2009,
preceded by 96-year-old Don
Gutteridge in 2008 and Ernie
Koy, aged 97 upon his death in 2007. 100-year-old Lee Cunningham passed in
In terms of both the living player
who played for the team the longest time ago and is the oldest in age, I believe
Marty Marion now holds that distinction.
The 93-year-old made his MLB debut on April 16, 1940, just short of 61 years
ago. That is a year and a half prior to now-90-year-old Stan Musial’s September 1941 arrival.
2010 Cardinals deaths by
February 7: Paul LaPalme, age
“Lefty” appeared in 56 games, all
in relief, for the 1955 Cardinals after having been acquired from
was dealt away the next May. Overall, the knuckleballer spent seven years in the
majors and another dozen in the minors.
February 16: Jim Bibby, age
Though originally signed by the
New York Mets, the right-hander first reached the majors with the 1972 Cardinals
with whom he picked up his first MLB win. Bibby was dealt to Texas during the 1973
season and would go on to log 110 more victories with the Rangers, Indians and
Pirates. Bibby returned to the Cardinals in 1984, pitching in two games for
Triple-A Louisville at the age of 39 to close out his career. He was a long-time
minor league pitching coach later in life.
March 3: Frank Bertaina, age
The left-hander concluded his
major league career at the age of 26 with eight late-season appearances,
including five starts, for the 1970 Cardinals. Bertaina was originally drafted
by and spent the majority of his career in the Baltimore Orioles
March 9: Willie Davis, age
The former Dodgers all-star outfielder joined
the Cardinals at age 35 midway during the 1975 season and was traded away four
months later. Known for speed and solid defense, Davis played a total of 18 seasons in the majors and two
more in Japan before retiring in
April 2: Mike Cuellar, age
The Cuban native won 185 games
over 15 big league seasons, primary known as a member of the Baltimore Orioles’
rotation. Cuellar was a Cy Young Award winner and won 20 games four times.
Earlier in his career, he pitched in 25 Triple-A contests for the Cardinals in
1964 and 1965 along with 32 games for St. Louis. Cuellar was dealt to Houston in June 1965 and
remained in the majors until he retired in 1977.
April 22: Phil Castiglone, age
The third baseman joined the
Cardinals in June 1953 in a trade from his only prior organization, the
Pittsburgh Pirates, with whom he had first signed in 1940. With St. Louis, Castiglone
appeared in 67 games in 1953 and five the next April to end his MLB career. He
finished the 1954 season for the Cardinals with Triple-A Rochester before moving
on to several other minor league organizations. He retired in
May 25: Morrie Martin, age
The Missouri native pitched
ten seasons in the majors for seven organizations, including 21 games for the
Cardinals in 1957 and 1958. Martin began his MLB career by fanning Stan Musial
in 1949 with the Dodgers and finished with the 1959 Cubs.
September 1: Don Lang, age
The former Cincinnati Reds third
baseman was called up to St.
Louis in 1948 to take over for injured Whitey Kurowski.
After two more seasons in the minors, Lang retired. He had been the oldest
living Cardinal at the time of his passing.
September 9: Eddie Phillips, age
The longtime resident of
Hannibal, MO had a brief, but unique MLB career,
appearing in nine games late in the 1953 season without an official at-bat or
appearance in the field. Then aged 21, the switch-hitting outfielder/third
baseman never again reached the majors, though he did not retire until
November 6: Jay Van Noy, age
At the age of 22, the outfielder
appeared in six games for the 1951 Cardinals, going hitless in seven at-bats.
Van Noy played 12 seasons of minor league ball until his 1960
November 22: Tom Underwood, age
The Indiana native came up with the Phillies at the age of 20
in 1974 and moved to St.
Louis in the middle of the 1977 season in the Bake
McBride trade. As a Cardinal, Underwood pitched in 19 games, including 17
starts. He was gone after six months, sent to Toronto for Pete Vukovich. The left-hander
pitched in the majors through 1984.
November 27: Bill Werle, age
The left-handed pitcher spent one
of his six major league seasons as a member of the Cardinals, having joined them
for the 1952 season. Werle, later a minor league manager and scout, appeared in
19 games while with St.
addition, former St. Louis Browns players George Binks, Ray Coleman, Ken Holcombe, Bill Jennings and Al LaMacchia also passed away in
A tip of the cap to Baseball-Reference.com for background
articles: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006
Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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