Obituaries: May 3
Jack Carmichael, a righthander who pitched in nine minor league seasons, died Nov. 26, 2010, in Atascadero, Calif. He was 81.
Carmichael made his pro debut in 1947 and spent the first four years of his career playing in the low levels of the Indians organization. He spent two years away from the field to serve in the military from 1951-52. He returned to baseball in 1953 and went on to play three years in the Pacific Coast League from 1955-57, mostly with the San Diego Padres. He won 23 games over the 1955 and '56 seasons, though he struggled in his final season in 1957, which he split between San Diego and Portland.
Rudy Favero, a catcher who played pro ball for one season, died Nov. 27, 2010, in Springfield, Ill. He was 85.
Favero appeared in 39 games for Roanoke (Piedmont) in 1945, batting .217 with eight RBIs in 69 at-bats.
Marvin Lucas, a shortstop who saw action in one minor league season, died Aug. 5, 2010, in Rising Sun, Md. He was 95.
Lucas got his only pro experience with Centreville (Eastern Shore) in 1938, when he hit .178 with two homers in 163 at-bats.
Dan McDevitt, a lefthander who pitched six seasons in the major leagues, died Nov. 20, 2010, in Covington, Ga. He was 78.
McDevitt broke into pro ball with the Yankees organization, but he made it to the majors as a Brooklyn Dodger. McDevitt was called up to the Dodgers for the first time in June 1957, during their final season in Brooklyn, and made 22 appearances, including 17 starts, going 7-4, 3.25. McDevitt pitched the next three seasons for the relocated Los Angeles Dodgers, winning 10 games in 1959. He was sold to the Yankees after the 1960 season and pitched two more seasons in the majors with the Yankees, Twins and Kansas City Athletics. McDevitt's career was cut short by arm troubles, and he never threw more than 53 innings in any of his final thee major league seasons. He last pitched in the majors at age 29, ending his career with a 21-27, 4.40 record.
Gil McDougald, a second baseman who was the 1951 American League rookie of the year and a five time all-star, died Nov. 28, 2010, in Wall Township, N.J. He was 82.
McDougald was a fixture with the dominant Yankees squads of the 1950s. He made an immediate impact after coming up to New York in 1951, leading the Yankees with a .306 average in 402 at-bats as the club went on to win the World Series. Although McDougald played more games at second base than any other during his career, he was versatile and saw regular action at third base and shortstop over the years. McDougald made his first all-star team in 1952, when he hit .263 with 78 RBIs, and he would make the all-star team in four consecutive seasons from 1956-59.
McDougald was a consistent producer throughout most of his career. He hit over .300 twice and never batted lower than .250 in a major league season. He also hit at least 10 home runs each year form 1951-58, ending his career with 112. The Yankees reached the World Series in eight of McDougald's 10 seasons, winning five of them. Although he hit just .237 in his postseason career, he did hit seven home runs, including a go-ahead home run in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1958 Series against the Milwaukee Braves. McDougald retired shortly before the 1961 season with a .276 lifetime average and 1,291 hits.
Hugh Moore, a shortstop who played four seasons in the minors, died Feb. 26, 2010, in Brunswick, Ga. He was 89.
Moore had a well-traveled career, playing with seven different clubs over four seasons from 1939-42. He saw the most time with Albany (Georgia-Florida) in 1940, appearing in 98 games and batting .241 with 35 RBIs. He played for four teams in 1941, making the greatest impact with Elizabethton (Appalachian), where he hit .289 in 242 at-bats. He returned to Albany briefly in 1942 to close out his career.
Buddy Nidiffer, an outfielder who played in four minor league seasons, died Oct. 22, 2010. He was 74.
Nidiffer played his first two seasons with Greensboro (Carolina) in 1958 and '59, hitting .265 and .258, respectively. After starting with Greensboro in 1960, Nidiffer finished the season with Modesto (California), then had a short stint for Binghamton (Eastern) in 1961.
Jackie Spears, a shortstop who played 10 seasons in the minors, died March 4, 2010, in Hickory, N.C. He was 79.
Spears made his pro debut in 1948 and played the next nine seasons as a member of the Dodgers organization, though he also missed two years to serve in the military. Spears recorded more than 3,500 minor league at-bats without ever making it to the majors, playing most of his final five seasons with St. Paul (American Association) from 1955 through '59. Of his five seasons at the Triple-A level, Spears' best came in 1957, when he hit .268 in 426 at-bats for St. Paul, adding one home run and 38 RBIs.
Tom Underwood, a lefthander who pitched 11 seasons in the majors, died Nov. 22, 2010, in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 56.
The Phillies took Underwood in the second round of the 1972 draft out of an Indiana high school, and he made it to the majors in August 1974 after just two seasons in the minors. He made seven appearances, all in relief, for the Phillies as a 20-year-old in 1974. He joined their rotation in 1975 and went 14-13, 4.14 in 219 innings. After he won 10 games in 1976, the Phillies traded Underwood to the Cardinals in June 1977. St. Louis then turned around and shipped him to the Blue Jays that offseason. Although he went just 6-14, 4.10 for Toronto in 1978, Underwood did strike out a career-high 139 batters, which ranked 10th in the American League.
Underwood pitched two seasons for Toronto before being traded to the Yankees in November 1979. He won 13 games in 1980, his only full season in New York, but he was traded again the following May, this time to the Athletics. Underwood would play three more seasons for the A's and Orioles before his big league career ended after the 1984 season. He finished with an 86-87, 3.89 career record.
Charles Varnak, an outfielder who played professionally for one season, died Nov. 19, 2010, in Valatie, N.Y. He was 89.
Varnak hit .260 in 231 at-bats with 14 steals for Olean (PONY) in his only pro season in 1946. He subsequently left baseball to pursue a career as a Catholic priest.
Anyone with an obituary to contribute may contact Bill Carle at 909 SW Corine Court, Lee's Summit, MO 64081, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minor league obituaries may also be e-mailed to Ray Nemec at email@example.com.