Best remembered for a magical 1958 season when he hurled the New York Yankees to one of the club's 27 World Series championships -- its most unlikely one -- Bob Turley died in Atlanta Saturday. He was 82.
Turley's death was caused by liver cancer, his son Terry Turley told the Sun in Baltimore.
Born Robert Lee Turley in Troy, Ill., on Sept. 19, 1930, the fireballing right-handed pitcher was signed by the St. Louis Browns as an amateur free agent in 1948, six years before the Brownies franchise moved to become the Baltimore Orioles.
During his 12-year Major League Baseball career with the Browns/Orioles, Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels, Turley compiled a 101-85 won-loss record with a 3.64 ERA. In the 1,712 MLB innings he threw, base hits were few, as he stingily allowed only 1,366 of them, but base runners were many, as he also generously issued 1,068 walks.
Turley's greatest season saw him win the MLB Cy Young Award in 1958, when he led the Yankees to the American League pennant with a 21-7 won-loss record and a 2.97 ERA. He pitched in 33 games and started 31 of them, with 19 complete games and six shutouts. Throwing 245-2/3 innings, he gave up 178 hits, struck out 168 batters and walked 128 hitters.
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However, Turley's biggest moments came in the World Series against the Milwaukee Braves that year. When the hurler took the mound to start the fifth game, the Braves led the Yanks in the series, 3-1. Denying the Braves the opportunity to repeat as champions, Turley tossed a shutout in the fifth game, picked up a 10th-inning save in the sixth game and earned the win in the decisive seventh game with 6-2/3 scoreless innings of relief. As one would anticipate, the pitcher's amazing performance under pressure led him to be recognized as the World Series most valuable player.
Besides son Terry Turley, Bob Turley is survived by wife Janet Turley, son Don Turley, daughter Rowena Turley and a number of grandchildren, the Sun reported.