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Ray Narleski, Dave Philley and Howie Koplitz, former Tigers players, pass away

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  • Ray Narleski, Dave Philley and Howie Koplitz, former Tigers players, pass away

    After beginning his successful, though short, big league career with the Indians, Ray Narleski pitched his final season with the Tigers. In 1959, he won four games for the team as a starter/reliever, finishing second on the squad in appearances with 42. He was sent to the Tigers with Ossie Alvarez and Don Mossi for Al Cicotte and Billy Martin.

    Raymond E. Narleski, on March 29, 2012, of Clementon. Age 83. Beloved husband of 63 years of Ruth (nee Gilbert). Loving father of Ray, Jr. (Stefanie), Steve (Diane) and Jeff (Jackie).

    Devoted Pop Pop of five and great Pop Pop of five. Dear brother of Bill, Jeannette Thomas and the late Teddy and Bob.

    Mr. Narleski was a graduate of Collingswood High School. He was an All Star and World Series Relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers.
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    Dave Philley played 1,904 games in a career split between eight teams, though only 65 of those games were with the Tigers. You can't say he didn't make them count, however - in 173 at-bats in 1957, he hit .283 with two home runs and eight doubles, while scoring 15 runs and driving in 16.

    Dave Philley, a switch-hitting outfielder who still holds the major league record for most consecutive pinch hits, died Thursday in his hometown of Paris at the age of 91.

    Reportedly, he was found slumped over the steering wheel of his vehicle at his ranch.

    Services are pending at Fry-Gibbs Funeral Home in Paris.
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    Pitcher Howie Koplitz began his career with the Tigers, and started off with a bang. In 1961, he pitched in four games, went 2-0 and posted a 2.25 ERA, with his only start of the season being a complete game. The following year, in 10 appearances, he was a perfect 3-0. Though that was the extent of his Tigers career, it was still a pretty impressive run. He's the only pitcher in Tigers history with at least five wins and zero losses.

    Howard D. "Howie" Koplitz, died at Eden Meadows on Monday, January 2, 2012. Born to Eldor and Esther (Diestler) Koplitz on May 4, 1938. Howard was an Oshkosh High School Indian and proud of it. On July 7, 1962 he married Karen Kimball, they have enjoyed 49 years together.

    A big fan of State and local sports teams, Howard enjoyed anything that required a ball or a puck. He played professional baseball for 10 years with the Detroit Tigers and Washington Senators. In 1961 he was Minor League Player of the Year. Howard retired after working 38 years as a United State Postal Service clerk in Oshkosh. He was a former director of the Snitz Club, the American Legion Baseball Organization, and the Postal Employees Credit Union. He coached baseball at Lourdes High School and will be remembered by many as a bird lover and coin collector. His personal "crafty" cards will be cherished.
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