January 16: Bob Repass, age 88. The infielder was just 21 years old when he made his debut as a September call-up with the Cardinals in 1939. Repass played in three games, getting two hits in six at-bats. He briefly made it back to the major leagues in 1942 with Washington.
April 3: Royce Lint, age 85. After playing in the minors since 1939 (except for three war years), the left-handed pitcher was selected by the Cardinals in the 1953 Rule 5 draft. Lint’s major-league career consisted of four months in 1953, when at the age of 33, he pitched in 30 games and was 2-3 with an ERA of 4.86.
April 13: Bill Baker, age 95. The catcher spent the final two seasons of his nine-year career, 1948 and 1949, with the Cardinals as Del Rice’s back-up. He won a ring with the Cincinnati Reds in his rookie 1940 campaign and was a major league coach and umpire after his playing days ended.
June 6: Erwin "Erv" Fischer, age 80. The historian for the Cardinals' Hall of Fame Museum worked for the Cardinals for 14 years after retiring from the insurance industry. Fischer arranged for his Cardinals memorabilia collection to be acquired for the permanent collection of the museum. He was an active member of the Society for American Baseball Research and co-founded the St. Louis Browns Fan Club.
June 10: Moe Drabowsky, age 70. The right-handed reliever posted a 88-105 record and 55 saves in 589 games in the major leagues from 1956 until 1972. As a Cub in 1958, he allowed Stan Musial’s 3000th hit. Coming to the Cardinals from Baltimore in a trade for Jerry Davanon, Moe pitched for the 1971 and 1972 Cards near the end of his career, chalking up ten saves in 81 appearances.
June 20: Billy Johnson, age 87. The third baseman spent nine years in the majors, mostly with the Yankees, where he had one All-Star Game selection and earned four World Championships. He was traded to the Cardinals in May, 1951 for Don Bollweg and played there until his career ended after 11 games in 1953.
June 26: Jack Urban, age 77. After moving from the Yankees to the Kansas City A’s, for whom he pitched in the majors in 1957 and 1958, then back to the Yankees again, the Cardinals purchased the right-handed pitcher’s contract. He tossed 10-2/3 innings of relief for the Cards in his final major league action in 1959.
August 30: Dave Bartosch, age 89. At the age of 28, the outfielder appeared in 24 games with the 1945 Cardinals, hitting .255. After his playing career ended, he was a longtime scout with the Cardinals. After retiring to California, he scouted for the San Diego Padres until he was 75 years old.
November 29: Pete Mikkelsen, age 67. The reliever pitched in five games for the 1968 National League Champions, spending a majority of his nine-year major league career with the Yankees and Dodgers. In his rookie season with the Yanks, Mikkelsen took the loss in Game Four of the 1964 World Series against Bob Gibson and the Cardinals.
December 8: Jose Uribe, age 47. After being signed and released by the Yankees in 1977, Uribe joined the Cardinals organization in 1980. By 1984, the shortstop made his major league debut as a September call-up, where he had four hits in 19 at-bats. Blocked by Ozzie Smith, Uribe was traded to the Giants as part of the Jack Clark acquisition that winter. Uribe spent ten seasons in the majors, including seven by the Bay as their starting shortstop.
In addition, former St. Louis Browns players Elden Auker, Jim Delsing, Red Hayworth, Billy Hitchcock, Fred Marsh, Eddie Pellagrini and Jake Wade also passed away in 2006.
A tip of the cap to Baseball-Reference.com for background statistical information.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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