Before we turn the page to 2014, I wanted to take a moment today to remember the Milwaukee baseball players who died this year. All told, four former Milwaukee Brewers or Seattle Pilots and seven former Milwaukee Braves passed away in 2013. They're listed below in order of games played:
Johnny Logan, age 87, passed away on August 9
An original member of the Milwaukee Braves, Logan spent most of nine seasons in Milwaukee, playing shortstop and appearing in four All Star Games. Logan appeared in all 154 games for the Braves in both 1954 and 1955, led the NL with 37 doubles in 1955 and homered and scored five runs in the 1957 World Series.
After retirement Logan returned to Milwaukee and spent some time scouting for the Brewers. He was also one of the founders of the Milwaukee Braves Historical Association. Logan was inducted into the Miller Park Walk of Fame in 2013.
George Scott, age 69, passed away on July 28
The Brewers had been in Milwaukee for just two seasons when they acquired Scott from the Red Sox to play first base, and immediately had one of the franchise's first stars. Scott spent five seasons in Milwaukee and won Gold Gloves in each of them. He also led the AL in both homers and RBI in 1975 and represented the Brewers in the All Star Game.
Scott was traded back to Boston following the 1976 season in the deal that brought Cecil Cooper to Milwaukee. The Brewers honored him with a bobblehead this April, just two months before his passing.
Andy Pafko, age 92, passed away on October 8
Like Logan, Pafko was an original member of the Milwaukee Braves. Pafko, however, had already had a long MLB career before coming to Milwaukee. He was a star with the Cubs in the 1940's, appearing in four All Star Games and scoring five runs in the 1945 World Series. He made the series again with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1952 before being traded to the Braves.
Pafko patrolled right field for most of the franchise's early years in Milwaukee, appearing in 140 games in 1953 and hitting .297/.347/.455. His role diminished a bit as the years went by, but Pafko was still with the team when they won the World Series in 1957 and went back in 1958, meaning he appeared in four Fall Classics as a member of three teams.
Pafko was also a Wisconsin native, having been born and raised in Boyceville. Chris Jensen of Baseball State by State named Pafko Wisconsin's best February-born player earlier this year.
Mike Hegan, age 71, passed away on December 25
While Pafko and Logan were original members of the Milwaukee Braves, on Christmas Day we lost an original Milwaukee Brewer as first baseman Mike Hegan passed away. Mike, the son of 17-year MLB catcher Jim Hegan, appeared in 586 games during two stints with the franchise and was the first Brewer ever to hit for the cycle.
Towards the end of his MLB career Hegan made a somewhat unprecedented transition, appearing in games for the Brewers during the baseball season and working on TV for WTMJ during the offseason. He also opened "Mike Hegan's Field of Dreams" in New Berlin, which operates to this day. Following his retirement he called Brewer games for a while before spending over 20 years broadcasting for the Indians.
Dan Osinski, age 79, passed away on September 13
Osinski was a key piece of the Braves' final team in Milwaukee, making 61 relief appearances in 1965 and posting a 2.82 ERA. He pitched eight MLB seasons but that was his only one with the Braves: He'd joined the team in a trade with the Angels in November of 1964 and went to Boston in a trade 13 months later.
Stan Lopata, age 87, passed away on June 15
A longtime catcher with the Phillies, Lopata was traded to the Braves just days before the 1959 season and spent his last two campaigns with Milwaukee, appearing in 32 games. He was an All Star for Philadelphia in 1955 and 1956 and appeared in 853 games over 13 MLB seasons.
Fred Talbot, age 71, passed away on January 11
A longtime big league pitcher with the White Sox, Kansas City A's and Yankees, Talbot joined the Seattle Pilots in May of 1969 and appeared in 25 games (16 starts), posting a 4.16 ERA over 114.2 innings. After slightly more than three months in Seattle the Pilots traded him to Oakland, where he made his final 13 MLB appearances.
All told Talbot appeared in 195 MLB games over eight seasons, posting a 4.12 ERA and recording 449 strikeouts.
Lou Sleater, age 86, passed away on March 25
The Braves' selection in the 1955 Rule 5 draft, Sleater pitched in 25 games in 1956, including one start, and posted a 3.15 ERA over 45.2 innings. The Braves were his fourth of six major league teams in his seven MLB seasons. He also spent parts of eleven seasons in the minors, pitching in ten different leagues with various organizations.
Neil Chrisley, age 81, passed away on May 18
A former Washington Senators and Detroit Tigers outfielder, Chrisley wrapped up his MLB career with ten games with the Milwaukee Braves in 1961, picking up two hits and scoring a run in ten plate appearances. He returned to the minors following those games and played four more seasons, but never returned to the big leagues.
Earl Hersh, age 80, passed away on March 18
Hersh's only MLB games came as a member of the 1956 Braves, where he went 3-for-13 with three doubles in seven games as a September callup.
Hersh later went on to coach high school baseball and retired as the supervisor of physical education and athletics for Carroll County, Maryland in 1992. (h/t B-Ref Bullpen)
Brad Lesley, age 54, passed away on April 27
Perhaps better known for his acting work, the reliever known as "The Animal" spent the last of his four MLB seasons with the 1985 Brewers, appearing in five games. He continued his career in Japan before making the jump to working in movies. He passed away following a long struggle with kidney failure.
Billy Williams, age 80, passed away on June 11
Williams had been playing professionally for 18 seasons before finally getting the call to the majors for the first time with the Seattle Pilots in August of 1969. He appeared in four games for Seattle, going 0-for-10 with a walk and scoring a run.
Williams was 36 years old when he reached the big leagues for the first time, and is still the oldest player ever to make his MLB debut with the Brewers.