Ron Perranoski, the lefthanded ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers' bullpen who helped them win a pair of World Series championships in the 1960s, has died. He was 84.
He died Friday night at his home in Vero Beach, Fla., of complications from a long illness, his sister Pat Zailo told The Associated Press on Saturday.
Perranoski is the third former Dodgers player to die in a week, along with outfielders Jay Johnstone and “Sweet” Lou Johnson, a teammate of Perranoski’s from 1965-67.
Perranoski played in the major leagues from 1961-73 for the Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, and California Angels. He had a career record of 79-74 with 178 saves and a 2.79 ERA.
He signed with the Chicago Cubs out of Michigan State on June 9, 1958, and was traded to the Dodgers on April 8, 1960, for Don Zimmer. Known as “Perry,” he was the ace of the Dodgers' bullpen from 1963-66.
Perranoski’s best year with the Dodgers came in 1963, when he went 16-3 as a full-time reliever and earned a save in relief of Johnny Podres in Game 2 of the World Series against the Yankees. He had 21 saves to go with a 1.67 ERA. The Dodgers swept the Yankees in four games.
In the 1965 World Series, Perranoski made two relief appearances and the Dodgers won the championship over the Minnesota Twins, with Johnson hitting two homers, including the game winner in Game 7.
“Ron Perranoski played a major role in the success of the Dodgers as a great reliever and a mentor to many great young pitchers over his 30-year career in the organization,” team president and CEO Stan Kasten said.
Perranoski led the National League in appearances in 1962 with 70, 1963 with 69, and 1967 with 70. He also led the American League in saves with Minnesota with 31 in 1969 and 34 in 1970.
Following his career, Perranoski served as the Dodgers' minor league pitching coordinator from 1973-80. He was their pitching coach from 1981-94 and was instrumental in the success of Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela.
Perranoski joined the San Francisco Giants as minor league pitching coordinator in 1995, was promoted to bench coach in 1997, and then to pitching coach from 1998-99. The following year he became a special assistant to then-general manager Brian Sabean.
He was born Ronald Peter Perranoski on April 1, 1936, in Paterson, N.J., and grew up in Fair Lawn. In 1983, he was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.
Perranoski lived in Vero Beach, the Dodgers' former spring training home, for over 30 years.
Besides his sister, he is survived by sons Ron, Brad, and Michael, and four grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held later.
Return to the scene of the crime
The Houston Astros take the field Monday for the first game of their series against Oakland in the park where they clinched their 2017 World Series title. But this time, the Dodgers won’t be in town.
While Los Angeles heads to Texas for the NL Division Series, their ballpark is hosting the AL Division Series.
The Oakland Athletics and pitcher Mike Fiers will be in Los Angeles, too. Fiers last year revealed the Astros' sign-stealing plot during the 2017 World Series, which they won in seven games over the Dodgers and celebrated on their rival’s field.
Now, Fiers will be facing his old team in the best-of-five series that begins Monday.
“Nobody’s mentioned his name,” first-year Astros manager Dusty Baker said Friday. “I haven’t heard Mike Fiers’s name all year until you just mentioned it.”
Three years has done little to stem the tide of scorn that has crashed over the Astros. They’ve been tarred and feathered as cheaters by other teams and fans, even though the current mix of rookies and second-year players hardly resembles Houston’s powerhouse rosters of recent years.
After winning 101, 103, and 107 games in the last three regular seasons, capturing the 2017 World Series and losing in seven games to the Washington Nationals last year, the Astros stumbled through this shortened season at 29-31.
They swept Minnesota in two games in the AL wild-card series with a group of many first- and second-year players filling the gaps created by injuries, slumps, and departures.
Baker has yet to announce his rotation against the A’s. West champion Oakland advanced by beating the Chicago White Sox in three games, ending 14 years of postseason futility.
Phillies GM Klentak out after another September swoon
Matt Klentak stepped down as general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies after a third straight September collapse left the team out of the postseason for the ninth consecutive season.
Klentak will be reassigned to another position in the organization and Ned Rice will serve as interim general manager until the Phillies hire someone to run baseball operations.
Klentak was hired in October 2015 by team president Andy MacPhail after serving as assistant general manager for the Angels for four seasons. The Phillies were 326-382 in five seasons under Klentak.
Klentak’s biggest move was signing Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million deal. Klentak also acquired catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins, trading top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez to get him.
But Klentak failed to sign Realmuto to an extension and he is set to become a free agent.
Klentak inherited Pete Mackanin as manager and made a switch after the 2017 season, hiring Gabe Kapler. The Phillies went 161-163 under Kapler before owner John Middleton overruled Klentak and MacPhail and fired him last year. First-year manager Joe Girardi was 28-32 this season.
The Phillies went 1-7 in their final eight games. They would’ve made the postseason with two wins in those eight games.