A year after at least 17 men with ties to the St. Louis Cardinals died, including prominent names such as George Kissell and Dave Ricketts, I could only locate ten who passed away during 2009.
Most notable perhaps was the late Herman Franks, who I believe was the oldest living former Cardinals player prior to his March 30 death and last to suit up for the major league club in the 1930s.
According to the best information I can unearth, Don Lang has taken over from Franks as the oldest living ex-Cardinal. The 1948 Cardinals third baseman turns 95 years old on March 15.
In terms of a living player who played for the team the longest time ago, I believe Marty Marion holds that distinction. The 92-year-old made his MLB debut on April 16, 1940, just short of 60 years back. That is a year and a half prior to now-89-year-old Stan Musial's September 1941 arrival.
2009 Cardinals deaths by date
The well-respected former coach
and manager of
January 25: Eddie Lyons, age 85.
January 28: Gene Corbett, age 96.
Gene Corbett was an infielder who
played briefly for the Phillies in the late 1930's. Later in his career, from
1947 through 1952, Corbett served as a player-manager in the Cardinals minor
league system in Class B and D at these outposts:
February 18: Ben Flowers, age 81.
A durable right-handed pitcher, Flowers pitched briefly for the Cardinals at the end of the 1955 season and early in 1956 making a total of seven starts in between a pair of trades.
March 17: Whitey Lockman, age 83.
The former Giants outfielder and
later Cubs manager joined the Cardinals in the 1956 multi-player trade that sent
Red Schoendienst to the Giants. Lockman was dealt right back to
March 30: Herman Franks, age 95.
Franks is perhaps most remembered
for his playing time with the Giants along with his coaching and managerial
years with the Chicago Cubs. Yet Franks began his MLB journey in
June 14: Hal Woodeshick, age 76.
The left-handed reliever concluded his 11-season MLB career as an oft-used member of the 1965-1967 Cardinals. Woodeshick pitched the final inning of the Cards' game six loss to the Red Sox in the 1967 World Series.
August 29: Jackie Collum, age 82.
Left-handed pitcher Jackie Collum
came up through the system, first joining the Cardinals late in 1951. He saw
limited duty into 1953 when he was dealt to
September 4: Buddy Blattner, age 89.
Blattner, an infielder from
October 4: Barry Lersch, age 65.
Lersch pitched for the Phillies from 1969-1973, but finished his MLB career with one rough outing in the final month of the 1974 Cardinals campaign after St. Louis had purchased his contract from Atlanta.
In addition, former St. Louis Browns player Bob Dillinger also passed away in 2009.
A tip of the cap to Baseball-Reference.com for background statistical information.
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