Fans and former teammates are mourning the loss of a former MLB All-Star and Gold Glove first baseman after it was announced that Legendary New York Yankees play Joe Pepitone has died at the age of 82 years old.
Pepitone, a fan favorite for the Yankees during the 1960s, reportedly passed away Monday. Debuting with the Yankees in 1962 at the age of 21, he quickly took over the starting role after the Bronx Bombers traded Moose Skowron the following season. From there he became a fan favorite in New York and was named to three All-Star Games and won two Gold Gloves from 1963 to 1966.
He then took over centerfield for the legendary Mickey Mantle, who had fallen victim to the injuries that would eventually end the prestigious slugger's career.
"The Yankees are deeply saddened by the passing of former Yankee Joe Pepitone, whose playful and charismatic personality and on-field contributions made him a favorite of generations of Yankees fans even beyond his years with the team in the 1960s,” the Yankees said in a statement, per MLB.
“As a native New Yorker, he embraced everything about being a Yankee during both his playing career -- which included three All-Star appearances and three Gold Gloves -- and in the decades thereafter. You always knew when Joe walked into a room -- his immense pride in being a Yankee was always on display. He will be missed by our entire organization, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him."
Following his time with the Yankees, Pepitone later played for the Astros, Cubs, and Braves before retiring in 1973. He later returned to New York as a minor league coach and was responsible for helping craft fellow Yankees legend Don Mattingly into an elite first baseman.
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