Obituaries: June 26

Phil Edwards, Vice President of the Cape Cod Baseball League, died June 18 in Harwich, Mass. He was 73.

Edwards served as Vice President of the CCBL for seven years after having served as general manager of the Brewster Whitecaps for several years, including the team’s 2000 championship season. Edwards was awarded the Fred Ebbett Lifetime Achievement Award by the Cape Cod League’s Hall of Fame Committee shortly before his passing.

Dick Fiedler, a righthander who pitched in the 1948 College World Series for Southern California, died Oct. 13, 2008 in Altadena, Calif. He was 81.

Fiedler saw action in eight seasons, three of them with the Portland Beavers (Pacific Coast League) from 1954-57. Fiedler’s career ERA was 4.11, and he won 48 games over his eight seasons. He started 80 games and appeared in 205, including 25 starts in his first season with Portland. In 1950, he compiled a 10-5 record playing for both Joplin (Western Association) and Twin Falls (Pioneer League). In 1951, he registered a career-best 3.16 for Quincy (Illinois-Indiana-Iowa). He was moved to the bullpen in 1956 after sitting out the 1955 season, and left baseball after the 1957 season at the age of 30.

Ben Flowers, a righthander who pitched for parts of four seasons in the majors in the 1950s, died Feb. 18 in Wilson, N.C. He was 81.

Flowers began his pro career in 1945 and reached the big leagues for the first time in September 1951, when he made one appearance for the Red Sox and pitched three scoreless innings against the Yankees. He spent the 1952 season back in the minors, but reached the big leagues full time in 1953, appearing in 32 games for the Red Sox and going 1-4, 3.87. After another season in the minors with Louisville (American Association), the Tigers took Flowers in the 1954 Rule 5 draft, but he spent most of that season in the minors again and made only four appearances for Detroit before being traded to the Cardinals. Flowers opened the 1956 season in St. Louis, but was traded to the Phillies that May and went a combined 1-3, 5.98 in 53 innings between the two stops. Flowers pitched another four seasons in the minors before retiring after the 1960 season. In all, he made 76 big league appearances and went 3-7, 4.49 in 168 innings.

Mike Krmpotic, a righthander who made five appearances for the 1951 Ponca City Dodgers of the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League, died March 25 in Omaha. He was 78.

In those five appearances, Krmpotic pitched a total of 21 innings, going 1-1, 6.00. The Dodgers finished atop the league standings that year with a record of 85-39 but lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Carroll “Whitey” Lockman, an outfielder who played 15 seasons in the majors primarily with the New York Giants, died March 17 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 82.

Lockman broke into the majors with the Giants in 1945, making 32 appearances and hitting .341 in 129 at-bats. However, he missed the 1946 season due to military service and wasn’t able to rejoin the Giants full-time until the 1948 season. Lockman’s career took off from there. He posted six consecutive seasons of batting .280 or better, the best of which came in 1949 when he hit .301 with 11 home runs and 65 RBIs in a career-high 617 at-bats.

Lockman’s average declined after the 1953 season, in which he hit .295, and he began seeing time at first base as his career went on. He slugged a career high 16 home runs for the Giants in 1954, then followed that up with a 15 home run campaign in 1955, but his production fell off from there. He moved with the Giants to San Francisco in 1958, but hit only .238 in 122 at-bats in the team’s inaugural season there. He would play two more seasons, retiring after he hit .200 in 21 appearances for the Reds in 1960. Lockman went on to a career in managing that included a two year stint at the helm of the Chicago Cubs from 1972-74.

Eduardo Rodriguez, a righthander who pitched seven seasons in the major leagues, died March 6 in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico. He was 57.

Rodriguez began his professional career when he was signed as a free agent in November 1971 by the Brewers. After spending his first season as a pro with Danville (Midwest), he made a combined 15 appearances with Shreveport (Texas) and Evansville (American Association) the following year before earning a midseason call-up to the majors.

Rodriguez went 38-35, 3.78 in 660 innings in his six seasons with the Brewers. His best season came in 1975 when he went 7-0, 3.49 in 88 innings, with most of his work coming in relief. In 1979, Rodriguez was purchased from the Brewers by the Royals, where he went 4-1, 4.84 over 74 innings. He was released the following year, however, and sat out all of the 1980 season. Rodriguez returned to baseball in 1981 and made six appearances with Monterrey (Mexican) before retiring.

Robert Signaigo, an outfielder who played professionally for seven seasons, died April 14 in St. Louis. He was 83.

Signaigo was in the military in 1945 and played amateur baseball with the Dream Club in St. Louis in 1946. Signaigo’s best season was his first, when he appeared in 77 games for the Independence team of the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri league in 1947. He batted .342 with 10 home runs and 68 RBIs that season. Signaigo spent the majority of his career with Vincennes (Mississippi-Ohio Valley). He hit .323 in 381 at-bats in 1951 and hit at least .280 in five of his seven seasons.  He finished his professional career with 43 career home runs and a .289 lifetime average.


Anyone with an obituary to contribute may contact Bill Carle at 909 SW Corine Court, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081, or at bbxpert@aol.com. Minor league obituaries may also be e-mailed to Ray Nemec at basebalray@aol.com.

Majors | #2009 #Obituaries

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