Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Pepitone, an All-Star and Gold Glove first baseman on the Sixties New York Yank ees who gained renown for his flamboyant character, hairpieces and penchant for nightlife, has died at age 82.

Pepitone was dwelling along with his daughter Cara Pepitone at her home in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, and was discovered useless Monday morning, based on BJ Pepitone, a son of the previous participant. The reason for loss of life was not instantly clear, however BJ Pepitone mentioned a coronary heart assault was suspected.

The Yankees mentioned in an announcement Pepitone’s “playful and charismatic character and on-field contributions made him a favourite of generations of Yankees followers even past his years with the staff within the Sixties.”

Born in Brooklyn, Pepitone went to Guide Coaching Excessive College, signed with the Yankees in 1958 and made his large league debut in 1962. He helped the Yankees to their second straight World Sequence title, a staff led by Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Elston Howard.

Pepitone drew consideration for his off-the-field conduct. In a time when most gamers had been staid and conformist, Pepitone was regarded as the primary to carry a hair dryer into the clubhouse, an artifact later given to the Baseball Reliquary and displayed on the Burbank Central Library in California throughout a 2004 exhibition: “The Occasions They Have been A-Changin’: Baseball within the Age of Aquarius.”

He posed nude for a January 1975 version of Foxylady journal.

“Issues had been a bit completely different again then, positive,” Pepitone informed Rolling Stone in 2015. “After I introduced the hair dryer into the clubhouse, they thought I used to be a hairdresser or one thing; they didn’t know what the hell was occurring, you understand? I’d stroll in with a black Nehru jacket on, beads, my hair slicked again; it was ridiculous. I give it some thought now, and I chortle.”

Jim Bouton, in his groundbreaking 1970 e book “Ball 4” that exposed the interior working of baseball groups, recounted how “Pepitone took to sporting the hairpieces when his hair began to get skinny on prime. … He carries round every kind of kit in a bit Blue Pan Am bag.”

Pepitone’s 1975 autobiography, “Joe, You Coulda Made Us Proud,” detailed nightlife with Frank Sinatra, smoking marijuana with Mantle and Whitey Ford and Pepitone’s jailing at Rikers Island.

Yankees proprietor George Steinbrenner introduced Pepitone again as a minor league hitting teacher in 1980 and promoted him to the large league staff two years later. Pepitone mentioned he would even trim his wigs to adjust to the Yankees grooming coverage.

“This one,” he informed The New York Occasions, holding one wig, “is my gamer. It’s obtained grey in it. The longer one is my going-outer.”

Pepitone was jailed at Rikers Island for about 4 months in 1988 following two misdemeanor drug convictions, then was rehired by the Yankees to work with minor leaguers. He was arrested in 1992 at a Catskills resort for a brawl that began when a person referred to as him a “washed up no person” and pleaded responsible in 1995 to driving whereas intoxicated.

He joined the Yankees at a excessive level within the staff’s historical past. After successful the 1962 title, New York went on to take American League pennants the next two years solely to lose within the Sequence, and Pepitone grew to become an All-Star in three consecutive years beginning in 1963.

He stayed with the Yankees via their decline and was traded to Houston after the 1969 season for Curt Blefary.

Pepitone went on to play for the Chicago Cubs from 1970-73 and completed his profession with Atlanta and the Yakult Atoms of Japan’s Central League in 1973. He hit .258 with 219 homers and 721 RBIs.

BJ Pepitone and Cara are youngsters from Pepitone’s third marriage, to Stephanie, who died in 2021. BJ Pepitone mentioned the household had not but selected funeral plans.


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