Former Dodgers Relief Pitcher Ron Perranoski Passes Away
Ron Perranoski
John Rooney/AP Photo

What had already been a difficult week for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization became more somber with news famed left-handed relief pitcher Ron Perranoski passed away at his home in Vero Beach, Florida.

Perranoski, 84, survived by his sister, Pat Zailo of Fairfield, New Jersey; and sons, “Pope” Perranoski of Orange, California; Brad Perranoski of Palos Verdes; and Michael Perranoski of Thousand Oaks. Funeral services are pending.

“Ron Perranoski played a major role in the success of the Dodgers as a great reliever and a mentor to many great young pitchers over his 30-year career in the organization,” Dodgers president & CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement.

Born Ronald Peter Perranoski on April 1, 1936 in Paterson, New Jersey, the left-hander was instrumental in leading the Dodgers during their string of National League pennants and World Series titles between 1963 and 1966 as the leader out of the bullpen.

“Perry” began his professional career by signing with the Chicago Cubs out of Michigan State University in June 1958. He joined the Dodgers organization on April 8, 1960, in a trade for Don Zimmer.

Perranoski played for the Dodgers (1961-67, 1972), Minnesota Twins (1968-71), Detroit Tigers (1971-72) and California Angels (1973).

The left-hander had his best season in 1963, when he was a remarkable 16-3 with 21 saves and a 1.67 ERA in 69 games. Perranoski finished fourth in MVP voting and helped the Dodgers sweep the New York Yankees in the World Series that year.

Perranoski led the league in appearances three times: 70 in 1962, then with 69 in 1963, and lastly with 70 in 1967. He also led the American League with 31 saves for the Minnesota Twins in 1969 and 34 in 1970.

Perranoski was a lifetime 79-74 with 178 saves and a 2.79 ERA over 13 seasons in the Majors. His post-playing career included serving as Dodgers’ Minor League pitching coordinator from 1973-1980 and the big league pitching coach from 1981-94.

Perranoski’s 14 seasons as Dodgers pitching coach is tied with Rick Honeycutt for the longest tenure in franchise history.

The Dodgers have also mourned the losses of Sweet Lou Johnson and Jay Johnstone in the past week.

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