Showing posts with label Millito Navarro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Millito Navarro. Show all posts

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Major League Baseball lost over 90 alumni in 2011

Dick Williams
Duke Snider
Always one of the sadder pieces that I write annually, reflecting on the major league alumni that died during the past year. In 2011, over 90 former big leaguers passed away including Hall of Famers Duke Snider, Harmon Killebrew, and Dick Williams.

The amount of living Negro League players continued to dwindle with the deaths of veterans Bill "Ready" Cash, Stanley Glenn, Millito Navarro, George Crowe and Butch McCord.

Tito Landrum was generous enough to share his thoughts on "Macho Man" Randy Savage (Poffo) who was his teammate in the Cardinals organization.

I feel fortunate to have been able to speak with many of these legends and get their memories on tape.

Below are a recap of the articles that I have penned this year, many containing personal photos and excerpts from interviews that I conducted with them during the course of my research. Feel free to share your memories of these legends that have moved on to greener pastures in 2011.

Major League Alumni
Marty Marion
Dick Williams kindled special friendship with his lunch crew
Nick Strincevich, 3rd oldest major league player dies at 96
Cole and Smalley Jr's deaths link a history started 57 years prior
Former Brooklyn Dodgers Schmitz and Buker pass away
Eddie Bockman, scout that signed Larry Bowa and four year MLB veteran, dies at 91
Joe Caffie Indians outfielder that started in the Negro Leagues, dies at 80
Ernie Johnson, 87, Braves pitcher, announcer and World War II veteran
Bob "Tex" Nelson's career a golden example of the flawed bonus rule
Federoff's influence has a lasting impact on the Tigers organization
Wes Covington, 79, 1957 World Series hero
Jose A. Pagan, 76, played 15 seasons with three clubs
Billy Harris, 79, former Brooklyn Dodger
Wes Covington
Duane Pillette, 88, teammate of Satchel Paige on St. Louis Browns
Eddie Joost, 94, last manager of the Philadelphia Athletics dies
Spook Jacobs: "He's worth $30,000 in the minor leagues!"
Marty Marion, former National League MVP, dies at 93
Duke Snider's Philadelphia grab eclipsed that of Willie Mays in the World Series
Former New York Mets catcher Greg Goossen passes away at 65
Recent Brooklyn Dodger passings - Tony Malinosky, Gino Cimoli, Cliff Dapper
Tony Malinosky,101, former Brooklyn Dodger passes away
George Crowe, 89, former Negro League player and Major League All-Star
Roy Hartsfield, 85, First Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, 1925-2011
Ryne Duren, 81, 3-time All-Star, 1929-2011

Negro League Alumni
Butch McCord

Bill 'Ready' Cash, veteran of eight Negro League seasons dies at 91
Negro League legend Willie "Curly" Williams left a lasting impact on many
Emilio 'Millito' Navarro, 105, world's oldest living baseball player
Stanley Glenn, 84, Negro League catcher and president
Bill Deck's exciting journey through the Negro Leagues
Butch McCord leaves behind a baseball legacy of a lifetime

Minor League Stars
"Macho Man" Randy Savage remembered by his baseball teammate Tito Landrum
Andres Fleitas, 95, Cuban Baseball Great (1916-2011)
Russell Rac, 81, hit four home runs in one game while with the St. Louis Cardinals organization
Bill Tosheff, first NBA rookie of the year, moonlighted as a strong armed pitcher
Bill Deck

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Emilio 'Millito' Navarro, 105, world's oldest living baseball player

Emilio "Millito" Navarro, the world's oldest living baseball player died April 30, 2011, at his home in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He was 105. Emilio 'Millito' Navarro, the Puerto Rican legend who played for the New York Cuban Stars in the Negro League from 1928-29, died Saturday in Ponce. He was 105.

The New York Yankees honored Navarro in 2008, selecting him in the ceremonial Negro Leagues draft. He was brought to Yankee Stadium where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Navarro's toss reached catcher Jorge Posada on the fly from 30 feet away. On the heels of his 103rd birthday, Navarro was astounded by the homage Yankees made.

"This is a dream for me," Navarro said. "I think I am in heaven."

Inducted into the Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992, the second baseman was the first Puerto Rican to play in the Negro Leagues. Standing only 5'5", Navarro impressed with his quick bat, flashy hands and speed.

Navarro played for 20 seasons with the Ponce Lions in the Puerto Rican Winter League, as well as playing in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. After his playing career was over, he was a physical education teacher and coach in Ponce and Caguas. Active past the age of 100, Navarro would often do exercises in public to demonstrate his fitness.

'Millito' gained notoriety in the past few years for being the world's oldest living professional baseball player. Topps honored Navarro in 2009 with an official baseball card in their Allen and Ginter set. In 2010, he was given the America's Outstanding Oldest Worker award from Experience Works.

Navarro is survived by four children, 11 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. His wife died more than two decades ago at age 62 from breast cancer.