The New York Yankees today mourn the passing of former player Bill “Moose“ Skowron, who died of congestive heart failure at age 81 early this morning at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill.
Signed by the Yankees in 1950, Skowron’s Major League playing career spanned 14 seasons with the Yankees (1954-62), Los Angeles Dodgers (1963), Washington Senators (1964), Chicago White Sox (1964-67) and California Angels (1967).
The first baseman won four World Championships with the Yankees (1956, ‘58, ‘61 and ‘62) and appeared in eight World Series overall – including a fifth Series win with the Dodgers in 1963. He hit eight home runs in 39 career World Series games, including a three-run home run in the eighth inning of the Yankees’ Game 7 win over the Milwaukee Braves in the 1958 Fall Classic. He also drove in what proved to be the game-winning run with a 10th-inning RBI single in Game 6 of that same Series to force the decisive Game 7.
An eight-time All-Star (1957-61, ’65 – including twice in 1959 and 1960), Skowron combined to hit .282 (1,566-for-5,547) with 682 runs, 243 doubles, 53 triples, 211 home runs and 888 RBI in 1,658 career games. He batted over .300 in five of his first seven seasons, and collected at least 30 extra-base hits in a year 10 times – including eight straight seasons from 1955-62. His 34 doubles and 63 extra-base hits in 1960 each ranked as second-most in the American League, helping the Yankees secure the AL pennant that year.
“Moose will always be remembered as being one of the key members of the Yankees’ dynasties in the 50’s and early 60’s,” said New York Yankees Managing General Partner, Hal Steinbrenner. “He was a winner in every sense of the word, and someone the Yankees family cared deeply for. Baseball lost one of its finest ambassadors, and on behalf of the entire organization, I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife, Cookie, and his entire family.”
Born in 1930 in Chicago, Skowron attended Weber High School and then Purdue University on a football scholarship before focusing on baseball.
Skowron is survived by his wife, Lorraine (also known as Cookie); daughter Lynnette, sons Greg and Steve, granddaughter Addyson and grandsons Jordan, Grant and Blake. Skowron is also survived by his brother Edward.
The Yankees will hold a moment of silence in Skowron’s honor prior to tonight’s game at Yankee Stadium vs. the Detroit Tigers.
Funeral arrangements are pending and will be passed along should they become available.
STATEMENTS FROM FORMER YANKEES:
“There weren’t many better guys than Moose. He was a dear friend and a great team man. A darn good ballplayer, too. I’m going to miss him.”
- Yogi Berra
“Moose was my roommate for a while, and we were friends for so long. He was a good guy and people loved him. Moose could really hit the baseball – especially home runs to right field – and he was a good first baseman. I was glad Moose was on my team because he always wanted to win.”
- Bob Turley
“Moose was a Yankee all the way. He was a true professional who always worked hard and took the game as serious business. I am proud to have been able to call him a good friend. I remember during spring training when I was 18, he took me for my first pizza.”
- Ralph Terry