Notable baseball figures that died in 2008:
- Buzzie Bavasi (May 1): A key figure in baseball's in baseball integration, he was general manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1951-68. His teams won four World Series. His sons Peter Bavasi and Bill Bavasi have been big-league GMs as well. He was 93.
- Dock Ellis (Dec. 19): He won 138 games and had a stellar 3.46 ERA in 12 seasons for the Pirates, Yankees, A's, Rangers and Mets. He was the starting pitcher for the NL in the 1971 All-Star Game and pitched a no-hitter in 1970 (and later admitted he pitched it while on LSD). He died of liver failure at age 63.
- Bobby Murcer (July 12): He was the replacement in center field for Mickey Mantle with the Yankees and was a five-time All-Star and also played for the Giants and Cubs. He was beloved as a Yankees broadcaster after his retirement as a player, and died of brain cancer at age 62.
- Johnny Podres (Jan. 13): The MVP of the 1955 World Series, he shut out the Yankees in Game 7 to lead the Brooklyn Dodgers to their only World Series title. The left-hander went 148-116 with a 3.68 ERA inhis 17-year career. He was 75.
- Preacher Roe (Nov. 9): He went 127-84 and made five All-Star teams in 12 seasons with the Cardinals, Pirates and Dodgers. He was 22-3 with the Dodgers in 1951. He was 93.
- Herb Score (Nov. 11): One of the top pitchers of the 1950s, the hard-throwing Cleveland lefty's career was derailed when he was hit by a line drive in 1957. He was the 1955 Rookie of the Year and won 20 games in 1956, and after his retirement was a beloved broadcaster for the Indians. He was in a serious auto accident in 1998, and was 75 when he died.
- Mickey Vernon (Sept. 24): A seven-time All-Star, he had 2,495 hits (despite losing two seasons to World War II) and played in 2,227 career games for the Senators, Indians, Red Sox, Braves and Pirates. He won batting titles in 1946 and 1953. He was a finalist in Hall of Fame balloting by the veterans committee this fall. He was 90.
Courtesy of the Associated Press and Baseball Reference.com, other baseball figures who died in 2008:
Eddie Brinkman, 66; Tom Burgess, 82; John Buzhardt, 71; Don Cardwell, 72; Billy Consolo, 73; Todd Cruz, 52; Bruce Dal Canton, 66; Kevin Foster, 39; Russ Gibson, 69; Geremi Gonzalez, 33; Don Gutteridge, 96; Herb Hash, 97; Tommy Holmes, 91; Bob Howsam, 89; Ken Hunt, 69; Michael Hutts, 21; George Kissell, 88; Karl Kuehl, 70; Buddy LeRoux, 77; John Marzanao, 45; Red Murff, 87; Dave Ricketts, 73; Steve Ridzik, 78; Ted Rogers, 75; Glenn Sample, 77; Carlos Manuel Santiago, 82; Bert Shepard, 87; Dave Smith, 53; Gerry Staley, 87; Tom Tresh, 71; Ed Vargo, 79; Nick Willhite, 67; Darrin Winston, 42; Sal Yvars, 84.