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John Young, Jim Davenport and Ron Slocum, former Padres figures, pass away

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  • John Young, Jim Davenport and Ron Slocum, former Padres figures, pass away

    John Young scouted for the Padres in 1984. He died May 8 at age 67.

    John Young, the man who was behind the creation of a program designed to increase the participation of African-American youth in baseball, died at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sunday at the age of 67, according to information received by the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.

    The cause of death was not released, but Young, who had been battling diabetes, was admitted to the hospital on Thursday for a leg amputation. Funeral arrangements are pending.
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    Jim Davenport served as a Padres coach in 1974 and 1975. He died February 18 at 82.

    On a team full of larger-than-life players, many bound for the Hall of Fame, Jim Davenport was a diminutive third baseman nicknamed “Peanut.” With Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry as teammates, Mr. Davenport hardly stood out.

    The story was much different inside the clubhouse. Mr. Davenport, who died of heart failure in Redwood City on Thursday night at 82, was a beloved and important part of the team from the time he debuted in 1958, the year the Giants moved to San Francisco.
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    Even today, with the availability of online death notices, the Social Security Death Index and instant communication, some player passings still slip through the cracks — and they stay unknown for a long time.

    Such is the case of Ron Slocum, a utility player for the Padres from 1969 to 1971. He batted .150 with two home runs and 16 RBI in 113 big league at-bats; his two dingers came off pitchers Jack Billingham and Mike McCormick.

    He last played professionally in 1972 and then disappeared, his whereabouts unknown. Autograph hunters tried obtaining his signature through the mail multiple times, to no avail. Addresses supposedly to Slocum bounced back "return to sender."

    In 2014, it became clear why Slocum didn't answer his mail. It's because he couldn't, since he'd been dead since August 25, 1988.

    Felled by some unknown cause at the age of 43, Slocum's passing eluded researchers for over a quarter century, until a relative came forward with the information.

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