Preacher Roe

NEW YORK (AP) — Preacher Roe, who began pitching in the Ozarks and became a four-time All-Star as a revered member of “The Boys of Summer” in Brooklyn, has died.

Roe died Sunday in West Plains, Mo., said the funeral home handling the arrangements. His own Web site listed his age as 92 — other reference materials differed by a year or two.

Roe went 127-84 in a 12-year career with the Dodgers, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. But it was in Brooklyn, where he played alongside the likes of Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges, Ralph Branca and others at Ebbets Field, where he enjoyed his greatest success and acclaim.

Though those Dodgers teams of the 1940s and 1950s won only one World Series — Roe was part of three teams that lost to the New York Yankees — they became a beloved part of the borough. And Roe, a skinny left-hander and mathematics teacher from a small town in Arkansas, was among the fan favorites in the big city.

Roe led the NL in strikeouts in 1945 with Pittsburgh. He posted his best season in 1951, going 22-3 for the Dodgers.

Roe helped put the Dodgers into the World Series in 1949, 1952 and 1953. He started a game in each of those matchups with the Yankees, going 2-1 and completing all three outings.

Known for his sharp control, Roe finished with a career 3.43 ERA and pitched 101 complete games. After retiring, Roe admitted in a Sports Illustrated story that he had benefited for years by throwing a spitball.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press

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