Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Milt Pappas, who...

...pitched his first major league game with the Baltimore Orioles at the ripe old age of 18 and was later traded for the future Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, died at 76.

From his obit in the Times (my emphasis):

On Sept. 2, 1972, he had a perfect game going against the San Diego Padres with two outs in the ninth inning when he walked Larry Stahl on a 3-2 count. The pitch appeared to be outside, but Pappas blew his stack at the umpire, Bruce Froemming, and though he completed his no-hitter, he was angry about the call for the rest of his life. He contended that with nothing at stake except baseball history in the making, Froemming should have given him a break on the final pitch and stretched the strike zone.

“I still to this day don’t understand what Bruce Froemming was going through in his mind at that time,” Pappas told ESPN in 2007. “Why didn’t he throw up that right hand like the umpire did in the perfect game with Don Larsen?” He added: “It’s a home game in Wrigley Field. I’m pitching for the Chicago Cubs. The score is 8-0 in favor of the Cubs. What does he have to lose by not calling the last pitch a strike to call a perfect game?”


Pappas’s first wife, Carole, was the subject of some mystery when the Pappas family lived in Wheaton, Ill., a Chicago suburb. On Sept. 11, 1982, she disappeared one Saturday while running errands. There was some suspicion of foul play, but five years later, in August 1987, her body was discovered inside her car at the bottom of a retention pond blocks from their home.

Really? No one thought to look there for five years?

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