It's a been a rough couple of days for baseball greats, and for the Dodgers in particular. "Sweet" Lou Johnson, a 1965 World Series hero for Los Angeles, passed away yesterday, as did Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, of the Cardinals. And today we hear the news of former Dodgers' reliever and pitching coach, Ron Perranoski's passing.
Per the club:
"VERO BEACH, FL—One of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ greatest lefthanded relievers of all-time, Ron Perranoski, passed away at the age of 84 last night at his home in Vero Beach, FL.
"Perranoski, who was born Ronald Peter Perranoski on April 1, 1936 in Paterson, N.J., was instrumental in leading the Dodgers during their string of pennants and World Championship between 1963 and 1966 as the ace of their bullpen.
“'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,” said Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten.
“'Perry,” as he was called, played in the major leagues from 1961 to 1973, signed with the Chicago Cubs out of Michigan State University on June 9, 1958 and came to the Dodgers on April 8, 1960 in a trade for Don Zimmer. In 13 years in the big leagues, he had a 79-74 career record with 178 saves and a 2.79 ERA.
"Perranoski played for the Dodgers (1961-67, 1972), Twins (1968-71), Tigers (1971-72) and Angels (1973).
"His greatest year with the Dodgers came in 1963, when he won 16 of 19 relief decisions and helped the Dodgers sweep the New York Yankees in the World Series. He led the league in appearances with 69 and had 21 saves to go with a 1.67 ERA and a 16-3 record.
"Perranoski led the league in appearances three times—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 the Dodgers as their minor league pitching coordinator from 1973 to 1980 and became the Dodgers pitching coach for 14 years from 1981-94. He was instrumental in the success of Dodger pitching greats Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela.
"Perranoski is survived by his sister, Pat Zailo of Fairfield, NJ and three sons—“Pope” Perranoski of Orange, CA, Brad Perranoski of Palos Verdes, CA and Michael Perranoski of Thousand Oaks, CA.
"Funeral services are pending."