Home Illinois The former Cubs first baseman, who replaced Ernie Banks, has died at...

The former Cubs first baseman, who replaced Ernie Banks, has died at age 82


CHICAGO – A former member of the Cubs who carried a lot of responsibility during his second year with the club has died.

Joe Pepitone, who played in Chicago for three seasons in the early 1970s, died at the age of 82 on Monday. His death was announced New York Yankeesclub where the first baseman and center fielder spent most of his MLB career.

Pepitone joined the Cubs in a trade from the Astros midway through the 1970 season and was with the club until early 1973. During that time, he played in 268 games for the Cubs, hitting .284 with 36 doubles, 39 homers and 144 RBIs in 1,049 plate appearances.

Pepitone is best remembered by most Cubs fans for being the first replacement for club legend Ernie Banks at first base following the Hall of Famer’s retirement following the 1970 season. In 1971, he started 95 games at the position along with 23 in the outfield. The following year, Pepitone played all 66 games in which he appeared at first base.

After playing in 31 games early in the 1973 season, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves, where he played just three games before finishing the season with the Yakult Atoms of the Japan Central League.

Former Cubs teammate and Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins posted a tribute to Pepitone on Twitter Monday after his death was reported.

“Today we lost a good man. Rest in peace, Joe Pepitone. Truly was a great friend and teammate. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Pepitone family,” Jenkins said.

Pepitone enjoyed the most successful stretch of his career with the Yankees from 1962 to 1969, when he was a three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner at first base.


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