Double World Series Champion Passes Away Unexpectedly

( – People worldwide love baseball whether they play or watch. Many associate the sport with warm weather, and professional players sported the nickname “The Boys of Summer.” Vic Davalillo hailed from Venezuela, and the pitcher, who played on two World Series Champion teams, steeped himself in the sport he adored. Sadly, his family recently notified the world of his recent unexpected death.

At 18, Davalillo signed as a left-handed pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds’ Class D farm team. While his 2.45 ERA earned him time on the mound, his .346 batting average saw him playing outfield whenever he wasn’t pitching. Even so, Cincinnati traded him to the Cleveland Indians’ Triple-A league farm team for the 1962 season. He finally made his major league debut with the Indians in 1963, but Hank Aguirre of Detroit cut his season short with a wild pitch that broke his forearm.

Davalillo played for the California Angels in 1968, the St. Louis Cardinals in 1969 and 1970, and the Pittsburgh Pirates starting in 1971. He became an instrumental part of the team that won the ‘71 World Series and continued playing with the Pirates until 1973. The Pirates traded him to the Oakland Athletics in 1973, and he helped the As reach and win the ‘73 World Series.

He played the 1974 season with Oakland before taking a two-year sabbatical while playing in South American leagues. He returned from 1977 through 1980 on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ roster, helping the team win the National League pennant in 1977.

While Davalillo played 16 seasons of Major League Baseball in the US from March through September, he played 30 seasons in the Venezuelan Baseball League from late October into January, beginning in 1957. He played his last season in Venezuela from October 1986 through January 1987. Most Venezuelans considered Davalillo a national hero.

His daughter, Helga Davalillo, said her father died in Caracas after undergoing emergency surgery to clear a bowel obstruction and correct renal insufficiency. Conflicting records surrounding his birth indicate he was either 84 or 87 when he died.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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