Bob Friend, Mainstay of Pirates Team That Stunned Yanks, Dies at 88

Bob Friend, Mainstay of Pirates Team That Stunned Yanks, Dies at 88


Bob Pal, who discovered how you can pitch on lowly Pittsburgh Pirate groups of the early 1950s, then turned one of many Nationwide League’s most interesting right-handers and an anchor of the workforce that surprised the Yankees within the thrilling 1960 World Collection, was discovered useless on Sunday at his dwelling in O’Hara Township, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh. He was 88.

His demise was introduced by the Pirates. Pal’s son, Bob, instructed The Pittsburgh Put up-Gazette that Pal had died of a “cardiac occasion” in his sleep.

Pal received 197 video games in his 16 main league seasons. However he misplaced 230 video games, largely for groups that struggled after Branch Rickey, the Pirates’ common supervisor, launched into a rebuilding interval.

Pal had nice management and was exceptionally sturdy: He by no means had a sore arm and was by no means on the disabled record. He was the ace of a Pirates pitching workers that additionally featured his fellow right-handed starter Vern Law and the reliever Roy Face.

Pal had his first profitable season in 1955, his fifth 12 months with the Pirates, when he altered his windup so he might cover the ball and his grip from batters till the final attainable second. The Pirates completed in final place that season, however Pal went 14-9 and have become the primary pitcher to guide the N.L. in earned run common on a basement workforce when he posted a 2.83 mark.

Pal led the league in innings pitched twice, totaling nearly 600 innings via 1956 and 1957, and led the N.L. in video games began every season from 1956 to 1958. His finest season got here in 1958, when he had a 22-14 document, tying the Milwaukee Braves’ Warren Spahn for the league lead in wins. He was an All-Star in 1956, 1958 and 1960.

“I had an actual good sinker that carried me via many of the prime of my profession,” Pal recalled in an interview with Clifton Parker for the Society for American Baseball Analysis. “I had additionally had a tough curve and a good off-speed pitch, nevertheless it was the sinker greater than the rest.”

“I used to be capable of pitch each third or fourth day for greater than 10 years and by no means miss begins,” he mentioned.

Pal went 18-12 within the 1960 common season whereas Regulation was 20-7. However coming off a heavy workload in September, Pal pitched poorly within the World Collection in opposition to the Yankees.

Pal began Sport 2, however was lifted for a pinch-hitter within the backside of the fourth inning after yielding three runs in a 16-Three trouncing by the Yankees; he earned the loss. (The Yankees outscored the Pirates 55-27 within the Collection.)

He was the starter once more in Sport 6, giving up 5 runs in two innings because the Yankees went on to even the Collection. In Sport 7 at Forbes Discipline, Pal relieved initially of the ninth inning however left after yielding a pair of singles. The Yankees scored twice to tie the sport, setting the stage for Bill Mazeroski’s bases-empty ninth-inning dwelling run off Ralph Terry. Pittsburgh’s wild 10-9 victory gave the Pirates their first World Collection championship in 35 years.

Robert Bartmess Pal was born on Nov. 24, 1930, in Lafayette, Ind., and grew up in West Lafayette, the house of Purdue College. Pal’s father performed native band concert events, and Bob started taking piano classes as a baby with ideas of changing into a live performance pianist.

However he was a baseball and soccer star at West Lafayette Excessive College and, whereas a freshman at Purdue, was signed by the Pirates’ group earlier than the 1950 season.

After a 12 months within the minors, Pal joined the Pirates in 1951. They completed in seventh place that 12 months and in final place in the course of the subsequent 4 seasons beneath Rickey, who took over as common supervisor in Pittsburgh in 1950 and hoped to duplicate the success he had had constructing the Brooklyn Dodger groups that may dominate the N.L. for a lot of the 1950s.

“I merely wasn’t able to pitch within the main leagues, and for 4 years it was a horrible wrestle,” Pal instructed The New York Occasions after he was traded to the Yankees in 1966.

Rickey’s signings and the offers made by Joe L. Brown, who succeeded him as common supervisor within the mid-1950s, ultimately constructed a stable lineup and pitching workers. The 1960 Pirates featured Roberto Clemente in proper discipline, Invoice Virdon in heart, Dick Groat at shortstop and Mazeroski at second base, complementing the pitching of Pal, Regulation, Harvey Haddix, Vinegar Bend Mizell and Face.

Pal turned a Yankee earlier than the 1966 season. He posted a 1-Four document earlier than they bought him to the Mets in June. He went 5-Eight for them to shut out his profession.

He pitched 3,611 innings, struck out 1,734 batters, threw 36 shutouts and had a profession earned run common of three.58.

Pal was energetic within the main league gamers’ union, serving because the Pirates’ participant consultant and the N.L. participant consultant in negotiations with the membership homeowners. He attended Purdue throughout off-seasons and obtained a bachelor’s diploma in economics in 1957.

After leaving baseball, Pal remained within the Pittsburgh space. Working as a Republican, he served because the Allegheny County controller from 1967 to 1975, and he was a three-time delegate to the Republican Nationwide Conference. He was later an insurance coverage dealer.

Pal had a ardour for golf and performed recreationally at main programs in america and Scotland, attaining a notably low 6 handicap. His son, Bob, played on the PGA Tour and different circuits.

Along with his son, Robert Charles Pal, The Put up-Gazette reported that Pal’s survivors embrace his spouse, Patricia (Koval) Pal; his daughter, Missy Alexander; 5 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Through the years, the Pirates’ 1960 World Collection victory has been celebrated by fans gathering in October at a remnant of a wall from Forbes Discipline, which was demolished in 1971, to listen to the rebroadcast of Sport 7.

Pal, who attended lots of the annual commemorations, was hailed as a particular visitor in 2014.

“It was a magic season for all of us,” The Put up-Gazette quoted him as saying. “The workforce had suffered a very long time.”



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