In Memory of Former Cardinals: 2010

Publisher and editor
Posted Jan 1, 2011


Our annual feature remembering a dozen former St. Louis Cardinals who passed away during 2010, including the oldest then-living ex-Cardinal.

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 September 1.

 

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 2005.

 

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 date

 

February 7: Paul LaPalme, age 86.

“Lefty” appeared in 56 games, all in relief, for the 1955 Cardinals after having been acquired from Pittsburgh. He 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 65.

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 65.

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 organization.

 

March 9: Willie Davis, age 69.

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 1979.

 

April 2: Mike Cuellar, age 72.

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 89.

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 1958.

 

May 25: Morrie Martin, age 85.

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 95.

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 79.

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 1960.

 

November 6: Jay Van Noy, age 82.

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 retirement.

 

November 22: Tom Underwood, age 56.

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 89.

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. Louis.

 

In addition, former St. Louis Browns players George Binks, Ray Coleman, Ken Holcombe, Bill Jennings and Al LaMacchia also passed away in 2010.

 

A tip of the cap to Baseball-Reference.com for background statistical information.

 

Previous years’ articles: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

 

 

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com.

 

© 2011 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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