Bill ‘Moose’ Skowron, a five-time World Series champion, died Friday of congestive heart failure at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill. He was 81 years old.
Skowron is most remembered for helping the New York Yankees win four titles in the 1950s and 1960s. He is also one of only two players to hit three home runs in Game 7s
”There weren’t many better guys than Moose,” said former teammate and Yankee great Yogi Berra, the only other player with three Game 7 homers in the Series. ”He was a dear friend and a great team man. A darn good ballplayer, too.”
Skowron came up as a first baseman with the Yankees and went on to appear in a total of eight All-Star games.
He was an All-Star from 1957-61, appearing in both games (yes there were two games, can you imagine that today?) in 1959 and 1960, then was picked one final time in 1965.
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said that Moose was ”an integral part of the wonderful Yankee teams of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.”
Skowron played for the Yankees from 1954-62, then won a fifth, and last, title with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
For his career, he hit .282 in 14 major league seasons with 211 home runs and 888 RBIs.
After he was a Yankee and a Dodger, he went on to play for the Washington Senators (1964), the Chicago White Sox (1964-67) and the California Angels (1967). However, as I said, he is most remembered for his time as a Yankee.
Yankees fans will always remember him for his clutch performances in three World Series Game 7s. He hit a seventh-inning grand slam off Roger Craig in a 9-0 win over Brooklyn in 1956, and a three-run homer against Lew Burdette in the eighth inning of a 6-2 win over Milwaukee in 1958. He also had a leadoff drive in the fifth inning off Vernon Law in 1960, when the Yankees overcame a four-run deficit at Pittsburgh to take a 7-4 lead only to lose 10-9.
Skowron had a .293 World Series average with eight homers and 29 RBIs in 39 games.
He was truly a legend. He will forever be remembered and will be missed. Expect the Yankees to have a moment of silence and possibly do something special at this years Old Timers Game on Sunday July 1 and probably before then too.