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George O'Donnell and Pascual Perez, former Pirates pitchers, pass away

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  • George O'Donnell and Pascual Perez, former Pirates pitchers, pass away


    WINCHESTER - George O'Donnell, 83, formerly of Winchester, IL passed away peacefully at Regency Nursing Center in Springfield, IL on December 19, 2012. He was the son of Dana and Gertrude O'Donnell of rural Winchester. He is preceded in death by his wife Marianne (Freidl), parents, sisters Emily, Agnes Ann, Regina, Marcella and brother Patrick.

    He is survived by; two sons Chris (Teresa Adams) and Dennis (Susan) of Springfield; grandchildren John, Ryan, Aimee and Brady; sisters Margaret, Lorraine, Mary Lou, Virginia, and Janice; brothers Jim, Joe and Emmett.

    An outstanding pitcher in high school baseball, his father sent him to a training camp in 1948 and then he signed with the St. Louis Browns. His professional career began the next year with the Olean Oilers in the state of New York and followed with teams in Mayfield KY, Appleton WI, Waco TX, Charleston SC, New Orleans LA and in Hollywood CA. Known for his knuckleball, he was brought up into the majors in 1954 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Following the Pirates he went on to play in Hollywood CA, Columbus OH, Salt Lake City UT, Spokane WA and Syracuse NY.

    His achievements included posting 22 wins with the 1951 Waco Pirates, 20 wins in 1953 Hollywood Stars in which he was name the Pacific Coast League Rookie of the Year and to the PCL All-Star Team. During some winters, he played in Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. He was a member of the St. Louis Browns, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Senators organizations.
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    As we have all learned over the years, initial reports of celebrity deaths are often wrong. One hopes that is the case here, but as of now, two Spanish language newspapers are reporting that former major league pitcher Pascual Perez was murdered in a robbery in his home this morning in the Dominican Republic.

    The reports come from the Dominican Republic newspapers “Hoy,” and “Diaro Libre,” each of which report that Perez was killed by an intruder in his home during a robbery in the early morning hours. We will update with any further confirmation, including any English-language reports that come out. UPDATE: The official Twitter of the Montreal Expos (note: how can a non-existent team’s Twitter be official?) is saying the reports are true.
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