(UnitedVoice.com) – Joseph Anthony Pepitone made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut in 1962 for the New York Yankees. He became a wildly accomplished player during the seven years he played with the elite team. Baseball recently lost the Yankees legend.
On March 13, the Yankees announced that 82-year-old Pepitone passed away. During his time with the famed baseball team, he made three All-Star appearances and won three Gold Gloves. The team stated that he had a “playful and charismatic personality” and “was a favorite of generations of Yankees fans” long after he left the team.
Pepitone was a native New Yorker born in Brooklyn during World War II. His uncle introduced him to baseball when he was a little boy. He was so good by the time he was in high school that scouts would travel to his games to watch him play.
In 1958, he was shot by a classmate while he was a high school student. The bullet passed through his stomach but didn’t cause him serious injury. In 2018, he joined other school shooting survivors to discuss his experience with New York Magazine. According to the baseball legend, after he was shot, he said, “Oh, there goes my career.” Fortunately, it survived, as did he.
Throughout his career, he was known as someone who was always willing to talk to fans. He was also the first Yankee to bring a blow dryer into the clubhouse. At night, he enjoyed going out and chasing women. After leaving the Yankees, he played for the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, and in Japan.
The baseball player was known for his troubled lifestyle. He reportedly did drugs, drank, and fought with his wife. Eventually, it caught up with him, and he served time in jail.
Pepitone had five children, Joseph Jr, Cara, Bill, Eileen, and Lisa. He died at his daughter’s home in Kansas City, Missouri, where he lived.
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